Man, 73, who hit neighbour with hammer is fined

Glebe Place in Galashiels. Photo: Google.Glebe Place in Galashiels. Photo: Google.
Glebe Place in Galashiels. Photo: Google.
A pensioner who admitted attacking a neighbour with a hammer during a dispute about noise from a washing machine has been fined £600 at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

Brian Docherty, 73, pleaded guilty to assaulting the man in Glebe Place, Galashiels, on May 17, 2021.

Last June he was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

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But Docherty was not fit enough to carry out the work and the Community Pay Back Order was revoked and the case brought back to court.

Sheriff Peter Paterson imposed the fine, which was reduced from £650, and Docherty was also ordered to pay a £40 victim surcharge.

A previous court hearing was told how he assaulted the man to his injury and permanent disfigurement.

He inflicted two blows on the man's head with the hammer, leaving a scar.

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Depute fiscal Fiona Hamilton said the retired steel fabricator had lived in Glebe Place for the past 20 years, but before the incident had contacted police regarding noise from a neighbour's washing machine at night.

Docherty approached him to complain about the washing machine noise and then produced a hammer which the neighbour had thought was a rock.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme said the incident was a build-up of stress and frustration at a lack of interest by the police on his noise complaints.

He added: “He had reached the end of his tether, but it was an unfortunate reaction. He decided to arm himself with a hammer more to intimidate the neighbour, but things escalated.

"It was completely out of character."