Oban businessman admits threat with baseball bat

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An Oban businessman has admitted brandishing a baseball bat and threatening the owner of a hotel over a parking dispute.

Renato Di Ciacca, 56, of Flat B 60, George Street, Oban, who owns Nories fish and chip shop, pleaded guilty when he appeared in Oban Sheriff Court on Monday September 9.

He admitted threatening Neil MacIntyre, the owner of the Balmoral Hotel in Oban on March 18 of this year after an altercation about access to the lane behind the George Street chip shop.

Procurator fiscal Eoin McGinty said earlier in the day the complainer had left his vehicle blocking the lane when a delivery van arrived.

There was a heated debate, which ended in Di Ciacca contacting the police, who then asked the complainer to move his car.

However, Mr McGinty said an hour later the car was back blocking access.

‘The accused began to shout at him and at that point he reached into his vehicle and produced a baseball bat, described as half-size.

‘At that point the accused got into his vehicle, drove a very short distance at a very low speed touching Mr MacIntyre with his vehicle. There were no injuries.’

In Di Ciacca’s defence, his solicitor said it was an ongoing dispute, and his client owns the majority of the properties in that lane.

He said: ‘The complainer, who owns the Balmoral, has no right of access.’

He said on the day in question, after the complainer was asked to remove his vehicle, he placed himself ‘bodily in the lane’ once the delivery van had left.

‘At that point Di Ciacca wished to put his van into the lane but that was blocked by Mr MacIntyre.

‘That is when matters seemed to become escalated. There was shouting and swearing on both sides in fairness, but it is accepted by the accused, most regretfully, that he momentarily lost his control.

‘Mr Di Ciacca aplogises to the court. He deeply regrets his loss of control.’

He added: ‘There was a degree of provocation – short of the legal standard.’

Sheriff Patrick Hughes labelled the incident as ‘disturbing’ and called for reports. Di Ciacca will be sentenced on October 9.