Offender blamed Rangers, Celtic and religion for sectarian trouble in Grangemouth
An angry tenant who bombarded neighbours with sectarian abuse claimed they had tormented him since he moved in.
James Haggart (49) appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday having admitted behaving in a threatening manner – making sectarian comments – at an address in Bowhouse Road, Grangemouth on April 30 last year.
Procurator fiscal depute James Moncrieff said: “It was 4.35pm and the witness was in her home address waiting for her partner to return home from work. She noticed a note on her bin.”
The note stated “God save the Queen – disabled people are the hardest workers in this block – no surrender” and other sectarian language, mentioning the UVF and IRA, as well as the Pope.
"The accused then started shouting at her,” said Mr Moncreiff. “Calling her a junkie and shouting at her to get to a dentist. He said ‘get up those stairs before I batter you’.
"She went back to her flat to wait for her partner to get back and police were contacted. They arrived at 7.50pm and the accused was arrested and taken to Falkirk police station.
"I confirmed he left the note on the bin. He said he ‘they had been tormenting me since i moved in there – telling me I’m nothing but an alcoholic and disabled’ he added ‘I don’t like her at all’ and ‘I think it’s got something to do with religion and Celtic and Rangers basically’.
"He then said he had been called ‘umpteen names’ by her and it was ‘childish behaviour’.”
Dick Sandeman, defence solicitor, said: “The neighbours moved away in March this year. He has a background of alcohol difficulties and from day one he did not get on with these particular people.
“There were significant difficulties in that block, all of which have now been resolved.”
Sheriff Craig Harris said: “This is repulsive and pathetic behaviour and it has no place in society – it’s something you have indulged in before.”
He placed Haggart, 86 Bowhouse Road, Grangemouth, on a supervised community payback order for 12 months and made him subject to a restriction of liberty order to stay in his home between 7pm and 7am for the next 150 days.