A man who brandished a pickaxe handle at his neighbour, a convicted child sex offender, after finding out about his crimes has been cleared of assault.
Anthony Carrigan waved the lump of wood at Barry Sammon during a fierce row.
Sammon claimed he was “very scared” when next-door neighbour Carrigan confronted him and began to shout “paedophile” and “child molester” at him when the pair clashed in Tranent on April 6.
Carrigan had become angry after reading news reports about his former friend’s convictions for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and a woman, following a trial in March.
The accused, who was recovering from cancer at the time, pushed Sammon in the chest and grabbed the large piece of wood from his home.
And though he was cleared of assaulting the sex offender, the 50-year-old was found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon, a piece of wood, following a trial at Haddington Sheriff Court on Friday.
The court heard that the pair clashed outside their homes and were “face to face” during the incident.
After considering the evidence, Sheriff Peter Braid said: “Pushing someone can be an assault but I accept minimum force was used, and, as Mr Sammon was ‘in your face’ as it was put, you were entitled to push him away in self-defence.
“As for the second charge, I am entitled to draw the inference that you did intend to use the piece of wood to cause injury and you were prepared to use the wood as the red mist had descended.”
Sentence on Carrigan was deferred until next month for the preparation of reports.
More stories from Haddington Sheriff Court in this week’s East Lothian News, on sale now.