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Monday, October 25, 1999 Published at 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK

UK: Scotland

Man poured slurry into debtor's home

John Wilson bought slurry from a local farmer

An angry businessman poured 200 gallons of slurry into the home of a man who owed him money, a court heard.

John Wilson admitted breaking a window at Jim Mullan's home and emptying the farm effluent into the kitchen of his home, in Glenrothes, in Fife.

However, at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court, sentence was deferred on the 40-year-old, although he was warned that any further breach of the law could result in a jail sentence.

[ image: Sentence on Wilson was deferred]
Sentence on Wilson was deferred
Wilson, of Small Street, Lochgelly, in Fife, said he was angry that Mr Mullan had failed to pay him 136,000 for a garage he had sold him - a debt Wilson said had driven him into bankruptcy.

Procurator fiscal Elisabeth Miller told the court Mr Mullan was at home with his wife and 11-year-old son when Mrs Mullan heard a noise outside shortly after midnight on 5 September.

She said: "Mrs Mullan went outside and saw Mr Wilson close to the house in her driveway in a vehicle. He said to her 'I've got a message for Jimmy'.

"He proceeded to unhook a hose from the vehicle he was towing. Mrs Mullan returned inside the house and heard the noise of a generator from the kitchen.

"She saw that the hose had been put through the kitchen window and the liquid was being pumped into the kitchen. She got a terrible fright and thought it was petrol."

Broke a window

The procurator fiscal said Mrs Mullan realised the liquid was slurry and tried to push the hose out but Wilson broke a window and kept pumping the slurry inside.

The court heard the slurry caused 13,000 worth of damage.

"There was a liquid running down the driveway of the house and there was a foul smell," said the procurator fiscal, who added that Wilson was arrested shortly afterwards.

She said Wilson told police he bought the liquid from a local farmer with the intention of pouring into Mr Mullan's home.

The court heard Wilson had sold the garage to Mr Mullan in July 1995 and Mr Mullan had made an initial payment of 5,000.

He did not make any more payments after it was discovered the garage was used as security on a loan taken out by Wilson.

Iain Paterson, who defended Wilson, said he had built up a valuable business, including a public house, over a number of years and was a hard working and upstanding member of the community.

'Side of the bargain'

He added: "I think the upshot is that Mr Wilson feels that if Mr Mullan had kept his side of the bargain he would not have been sequestered and he would not have lost the public house and everything that he had worked for many years.

"Whilst he accepts that his financial position was not great at the time Mr Mullan had promised to pay him. Mr Wilson is not the first victim of Mr Mullan's sharp business practice."

Mr Paterson said Mr Mullan had convictions for dishonesty and served seven and a half years in prison.

"He said he felt extreme frustration because he'd effectively lost everything he'd worked for."

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