A man told his Indian neighbour to go back to his own country during a furious row about a garden bench.
Animosity grew between Ronald Forbes and his downstairs neighbour on Hilton Drive over building repairs and communal garden issues.
But the 60-year-old crossed a line when he turned to racist abuse, which a sheriff branded “utterly disgraceful”.
Forbes also assaulted the man as tensions boiled over into violence during one encounter.
Fiscal depute Stephanie Cardow told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the first incident happened on December 22 last year.
She said Forbes approached his neighbour stating that he’d lived at his address for 35 years before telling him to “go back to your own country”.
Several months later, during the evening of April 27, Forbes again approached the man and began shouting at him in an aggressive manner.
Ms Cardow said Forbes was shouting about “a bench that was in the communal back garden”.
The fiscal said: “The complainer advised the accused not to hit him as he would call the police.
“The accused responded ‘go on then’ and struck the complainer to the arm.”
Forbes, of Hilton Drive, Aberdeen, pled guilty to assault and acting in a racially aggravated manner.
‘He’s sorry about this’
Defence agent Bruce MacDonald said the complainer had purchased a ground floor flat underneath Forbes in July last year with the intention of letting it out.
Mr MacDonald said: “Things became fraught not long after the complainer bought the flat because Mr Forbes brought to his attention the fact pillars in the basement were leaning dangerously and requested he repair them because it might impact the whole building.
“The complainer ignored this. This is the genesis of the bad feeling that arose.”
The solicitor said a garden bench had exacerbated things.
He said: “The complainer owns the bench but continues to place it in the communal garden instead of his own property.
“Every so often, they meet and Mr Forbes asked him to attend to the building and move the bench back to his own property.”
Addressing the second incident, Mr MacDonald said: “Mr Forbes moved the bench, once again, back to the complainer’s part of the garden.
“He noticed the complainer moved it back to the communal area.
“He went out to see the complainer and ask why he did this.
“They got into an argument and the complainer took out a mobile phone and started filming the accused, right up in his face.
“Mr Forbes admits he knocked the complainer’s arm away from his face so the filming would stop.
“He’s sorry about this.”
Sheriff Sean Lynch told Forbes: “I want you to understand clearly that I regard your conduct as utterly disgraceful.”
He ordered him to pay a fine totalling £640.
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