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Wheelchair-bound man forced to move home by bitter dispute with Highland neighbour

The case called at Tain Sheriff Court

A wheelchair-bound man with paraplegia was driven from his home by a bitter dispute with his neighbour – who taunted him over his disability.

The disabled man had been in a boundary dispute with his neighbour Ivan Mackay, who has now been fined in court over his behaviour.

Mackay, 46, pled guilty to a single charge of threatening or abusive behaviour aggravated by prejudice related to disability at Tain Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Pauline Gair told the court that the incident had been borne out of an ongoing issue between the two, who occupied neighbouring properties in Altass, Lairg.

She said: “This is something of a neighbourhood dispute whereby the accused behaved in such a way to place a neighbour in a state of fear or alarm.”

Mrs Gair explained that the complainer suffered from paraplegia and was confined to a wheelchair.

Neighbours’ boundary dispute woes

She told the court: “A dispute over a boundary caused a breakdown in the relationship.”

Then on July 18 2019, the complainer spotted Mackay “gesticulating at him” and shouting abuse, including profanity and an offensive remark relating to disability.

“All of which led to the complainer moving away from the area completely because he felt he could no longer stay,” said Mrs Gair.

Defence solicitor Matthew Berlow told the court Mackay, of Altass, Lairg, had suffered from ill-health himself since the incident and as such had been unable to attend the hearing.

Behaviour was ‘out of character’

Speaking on behalf of the absent accused, he said that the incident was “out of character” and represented “a loss of control” for Mackay.

Sheriff Gary Aitken handed down a fine of £525, £120 of which related to the aggravation.

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