A PENSIONER has admitted attacking a neighbour with a hammer during a dispute about noise from a washing machine.

Seventy-two-year-old Brian Docherty pleaded guilty to assaulting the man in Glebe Place, Galashiels, on May 17 last year.

Selkirk Sheriff Court heard 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.

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.

She added: “The neighbour returned to his home address at 7.30am on May 17 and parked his vehicle before heading towards his home.

“The accused approached him about using his washing machine but the neighbour said it was not his.

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“The accused then produced a hammer and struck the man.

“At first, the neighbour thought it was a rock.

“The accused then struck him again on the middle of the forehead.

“He was seen by others holding the hammer in his hand.”

Ms Hamilton said the attack had left a scar on the neighbour’s forehead.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme said the incident was a build-up of stress and frustration caused, he claimed, at a lack of interest by the police on his client’s 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.”

Sheriff Peter Paterson told Docherty: “This is an extremely serious charge against you. You were that close to jail – you cannot take the law into your own hands.”

Docherty was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and was given a night time home curfew between 7pm and 7am for the next nine months.