A workman took drastic action when his client failed to pay him for the jobs he had done – plastering Facebook with offensive messages.
Stewart Houston (35) claimed he was £4500 out of pocket due to the materials he had purchased for two jobs and that his employers had basically not upheld their side of the deal.
Houston took to Facebook to leave various unsavoury messages with relatives and friends of his employer. The bad feeling turned to physical violence when Houston pushed a woman who was seven-month pregnant and caused her to stumble backwards.
He appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, having previously pled guilty to sending offensive messages between January 2 and January 29, and assault and behaving in a threatening manner at his home Broomhill, Wallacestone Brae, Wallacestone on December 13 last year.
Gavin Whyte, procurator fiscal depute, said: “In one message the accused said the complainer had £750 to give him. Many of these witnesses took screen grabs of these messages and forwarded them to the complainer.”
Defence solicitor Martin Morrow said: “The place was a mess and Mr Houston was asked to do some work. He bought the materials and did the work, but there wasn’t any money for him.
“He was told he could have a horsebox and a digger.”
Mr Morrow said those vehicles were eventually taken back from Houston and he was left with nothing to show for his labour.
“He was asked to do another job so he bought more materials and was now £4500 out of pocket. He felt he has being made a bit of a fool of.”
He said Houston pushed the pregnant woman, one of his employers, when she came to his house to take back the horsebox he had been given.
Mr Morrow added: “All this really should have been in a small claims court somewhere.”
Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “There is clearly a genuine dispute in relation to these matters, but he caused a huge amount of embarrassment to other people.”
Sheriff Livingston ordered Houston to complete 70 hours unpaid work within six months.