Landlord ordered to behave after admitting struggle with Hawick tenant

McLaren Court in Burnfoot, Hawick.
McLaren Court in Burnfoot, Hawick.

A landlord has been ordered to behave himself for the next nine months after getting involved in a struggle with a tenant over unpaid rent.

Steven Melville, 53, pleaded guilty at Jedburgh Sheriff Court to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing and struggling with William Harley at McLaren Court in Hawick on February 2 last year.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said that at the time of the offence Mr Harley was a tenant of the accused.

On the day in question, Mr Harley was driving his car out of a garage when Melville appeared and asked where his rent money was.

A struggle broke out between the pair, and the matter was reported to the police.

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said his client was owed £700 by the tenant “who had repeatedly thumbed his nose at him”.

He said: “Even when he stumbled across him, he dismissed him, even though he said please to begin with.

“When the complainer replied that he couldn’t pay him, a struggle developed.”

Mr Dow said: “The complainer put his hands on him, and he pushed his hands away. It was a very minor struggle.”

Mr Dow explained that his client was a mechanic with limited means and relied on rent income to make ends meet, but he had been forced to write off £1,000 and claimed his flat had been left in a state of disrepair.

Sheriff Mungo Povey told Melville: “I have listened to what has been said on your behalf, and I am prepared to defer sentence for nine months for good behaviour.”

He added that if Melville, formerly of Oliver Crescent, Hawick but now living in Peebles, is of good behaviour, he will be admonished when the case recalls on February 3, 2020.