Old firm neighbours endure angry afternoon of verbal assaults in Maddiston

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A long standing conflict between neighbours – and the old Rangers/Celtic divide – boiled over into a war of words which saw vile insults and threats hurled over fences.

A couple, who support Rangers FC, and their neighbours, who follow Celtic, have had animosity between them for a number of years, but things were taken to a whole new level one Sunday afternoon and led to police being called in.

Both William McMeechan, 76, and his wife Heather, 56, were letting loose some offensive comments and threats of violence.

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The McMeechans appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday having pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour at Cairneymount Avenue, Maddiston, on April 17.

The McMeechans appeared at Falkirk Sheriff CourtThe McMeechans appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court
The McMeechans appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court

Procurator fiscal depute Ann Orr said: “The complainers are neighbours of the couple and there has been a history of difficulty between them for a number of years. The neighbours are Celtic fans while the accused couple are Rangers supporters.

“It was 2pm on Sunday when the neighbours heard shouting – it was Heather McMeechan shouting ‘you’re nothing but a scrubber’ and using words like ‘slapper’, ‘cow’ and ‘scumbag’.

"They tried to ignore what was being said, but she continued to shout at them and similar insults to another neighbour. William McMeechan was seen outside the neighbour’s house and was making comments about what they were doing in the garden.

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"He said ‘I don’t know what you’re doing with that tree’ and ‘get out my garden, I will kick your head in’. This was said while the neighbour was in the border between the two gardens.

"Police attended and spoke to both accused, who said ‘it’s them – they will suffer’.”

Murray Aitken, defence solicitor, said: “It’s an incident that doesn’t do them any credit. If they have difficulty with their neighbours they should have just ignored them – they have now kept themselves to themselves.”

The court heard the McMeechans had been of good behaviour since committing the offence.

Sheriff Alison Michie noted the couple, 23 Toravon Drive, Maddiston, had previous convictions in 2005 but had been of good behaviour since then until the April incident.

She admonished them.