A row over being refused credit for tea bags and milk in a Lochaber village shop resulted in the proprietor being assaulted, a court heard.
Fort William Sheriff Court was told that unemployed Thomas Lindsay, 38, who was staying in Acharacle on the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula at the time of the incident, became angry when he was told he was banned from the local store.
At the time, the nearest shop was 12 miles away at Strontian or he would have had to take a 100-mile round trip to Fort William.
Lindsay, of 31 Tomtain Court, Westfield, Cumbernauld, denied assaulting David Burgess by seizing him by the clothes, causing him to fall to the ground, pulling his hair, punching him on the head, scratching his face and kicking him on the body, all to his injury in the car park of Acharacle Stores on July 5, 2014.
But Sheriff Richard Davidson yesterday (Wednesday) found him guilty after trial.
Lindsay, who used to live in Acharacle, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause fear or alarm by shouting and swearing at Mr Burgess’s partner Wendy MacGillivray in the shop on the same date.
Sentencing Lindsay to 100 hours unpaid work, the sheriff described his behaviour as “appalling”.
Mr Burgess told the court: “He (Lindsay) was shouting something about milk and tea bags and not being able to get credit.”
Mr Burgess said Lindsay grabbed the front of his shirt, he then grabbed the accused around his body and they both fell to the ground.
He said they were rolling around on the ground and Lindsay was scratching his face and kicking him on the legs and lower body.
Mr Burgess added that he punched Lindsay three times to try to get him to stop before someone else came and separated them.
The shopkeeper said he suffered cuts and scratches to his face and bruises on his head.
During cross-examination, Jim Sloan, representing Lindsay, asked him his height and weight, to which he replied that he was 6ft 1in and weighed 19st.
Lindsay said: “I’m an asthmatic and he’s a big guy. I’m a wee guy and I was struggling to breathe.
“I was scratching him to try to get him off me.”