Borders court: Hawick dog owner ‘produced baseball bat’

A BORDERS man who went into his home and produced a baseball bat following a row with a rival dog owner has been fined £270 at court.

Christopher Jackson, 41, of Hawick, pleaded guilty to the offence which happened in Hawick’s Earl Street on May 13.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court was told there had been a previous dispute when Jackson’s dog was bitten by a woman’s dog.

The argument flared again when Jackson saw the dog was not on a lead and muzzled but claims the woman threatened she would get her boyfriend to batter him.

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It was then that Jackson, a carpet fitter, went into his home and re-appeared with the offensive weapon.

He pleaded guilty to possession of a baseball bat but a not guilty plea to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner – by shouting and swearing and brandishing the offensive weapon – was accepted by the Crown.

Fiona Hamilton, prosecuting, said the incident started at around 12.30pm when Jackson became engaged in an argument with two females.

She said: “There is some historical difficulty involving their dogs.

“During the course of the argument the accused went back to his home address and came out of the door with a wooden bat.

“Someone who was not part of the argument phoned 999 and the other two females were no longer there.

“The police traced him a short distance away.”

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Defence lawyer Colin Severin explained that his client’s dog, a West Highland Terrier, had been bitten by one of the women’s dogs two weeks earlier.

He said: “He came across them again with the dog which was not on a lead or had a muzzle on and he challenged them about it.

“But he says they just laughed at him about it.

“One of the women said she was going to get her boyfriend to batter him and that they knew where he stayed.

“My client was concerned about this as his 68-year-old mother-in-law lives in the house and there are also children so he took the decision to take the fight to the witnesses.”

Jackson was heard to say to the woman: ‘Go and get your boyfriend and his pals and I will be here waiting’, adding: ‘You will not threaten me or my family’.

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Mr Severin added that when the police arrived Jackson to his credit was quick to give an account of what had happened.

The lawyer continued: “He admits he should not have taken matters into his own hands. There have been further incidents where they [the women] have been threatening him.

“He is normally a law-abiding citizen.”

Sheriff John Cook told Jackson: “You have acknowledged you should not have acted in this way.

“You should have contacted the police instead of engaging in the behaviour the other parties were engaging in.”

Jackson, of Duke Street, was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20.

Border Telegraph | News