A retired policeman appeared in court accused of behaving a threatening manner outside a primary school and swinging a chainsaw while its engine was running.
Smartly-dressed Thomas Kirsop, 76, of North Ballachulish, stood in the dock at Fort William Sheriff Court and pleaded not guilty to six charges that for two years from 2014 he shouted and swore at neighbours- mainly the Wyatt family – and frightened and threatened them.
He is due to go on trial next year – but yesterday, his lawyer urged a sheriff at Fort William Sheriff Court to relax bail conditions so he could go home.
When Kirsop first appeared in court seven months ago there was a bail condition he could not continue to live in North Ballachulish or adjoining Onich until his trial on March 2 and he went to live with his son and family dozens of miles away in Inveraray, Argyll.
But yesterday, his lawyer Clare Russell asked Honorary Sheriff John Hutchison to drop the bail condition and allow him back home into the care of his ex-nurse wife of 51 years or he could die.
She added: “He wants to return home and spend Christmas with his wife and family.’
Among the charges is an allegation that Kirsop, on May 29 this year, at the Wyatt home at Glenlea, Kirsop ‘swung a chainsaw while the engine was running and while you were staring directly at Karen Wyatt and other members of her family.’
He is also charged that on May 27 last year at St Brides Primary School, Onich, he bumped into Karen Wyatt as she walked past and shouted abuse at her.
He is further charged that on April 22 this year at St Brides school he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by standing at the gates staring at head-teacher Susan Kemp and a nine-year-old boy pupil in an intimidating manner.
The sheriff agreed to ease the bail conditions allowing Kirsop to return home but he was banned from any contact with the prosecution witness and had to stay away from the school and Onich General Stores.