A 56-YEAR-OLD Rosyth man picked up a hatchet, jumped a fence, assaulted a female neighbour and then was attacked by her rottweiler.

The neighbour dispute which spiralled out of control resulted in Colman Rowland, of Hilton Cottages, Hilton Road, appearing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

He admitted that on July 27, at Hilton Cottages, he shouted, swore, acted in an aggressive manner and made threats of violence towards his neighbours whilst in possession of a hatchet.

He also admitted assaulting a female neighbour by pushing her on the body.

Depute fiscal Jade Doig said: “The background is a neighbour dispute. The complainers live next door to the accused.

“The incident happened at around 6.15pm when the accused was shaking some sheets which caused his dog to bark.

“His neighbours’ dog jumped up at his fence which led to the accused shouting and swearing at the dog.

“He was challenged by (the female neighbour) and (the male neighbour) went outside and began recording the incident on his mobile phone.

“The accused was holding a hatchet and was gesticulating. The couple attempted to calm him down but the accused started shouting at (the male neighbour).”

The comments made included: “I’m waiting for my opportunity to deal with you” and “My opportunity will come when there is no-one around.”

He then shouted: “Don’t f****** stare at me like that,” before jumping over the fence.

The woman thought her husband was going to be attacked and stood in front of Rowland who then “pushed her with force causing her to stagger backwards”.

The couple’s dog then jumped up on Rowland.

The police were contacted and when cautioned and charged, Rowland said: “I’m fed up with this.”

Defence solicitor Jonathan Matheson-Dear said his client was a first offender and the bad feeling had begun over the dogs.

He went on: “On this occasion, he was at the end of his tether. He was putting up sheets and the dogs started barking. He lost his temper and made appalling threats.

“The neighbours’ rottweiler jumped up on him and was clawing at him. When I saw him later, there were large scratch marks on his chest and he also had a night in the cells.

“It’s unfortunate this has all got out of hand.”

Sheriff Derek Reekie said: “You picking up a hatchet would have been extremely frightening for your neighbours notwithstanding they had the protection of a rottweiler and pitbull terrier.

“Climbing over the fence wasn’t the cleverest thing to do and you suffered the consequences.”

Sheriff Reekie fined Rowland £900.