Chip shop owner fined after dispute with neighbour

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An Oban chip shop owner who admitted brandishing a mini baseball bat during a parking dispute has been fined £300.

Renato Di Ciacca, 56, of Flat B, 60 George Street, Oban, was in court for sentencing last week with  ‘glowing’ reports.

Sentencing had been deferred from last month for social work and criminal justice reports after an  altercation about access to the lane behind Nories fish and chip shop. A heated debate had ensued.

His solicitor, Eddie Thornton, said Di Ciacca’s reports were ‘glowing’ but his client was still ‘extremely embarrassed and distressed’ to be in court in relation to the matter.

Complainer Neil MacIntyre had left his vehicle blocking the lane on March 18 this year when a delivery van arrived. Despite Di Ciacca calling police and officers asking for the car to be moved – it was still there an hour later, the court had heard.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes said he was most concerned about it being brandished and it being in Di Ciacca’s vehicle.

But Mr Thornton explained: ‘It was a child’s baseball bat, not a full-size one. It was one that belongs to one of his three young relatives. The nephews are in and out of his van on a regular basis.’

He said it confirmed how frustrated his client had been to resort to using it and also said if the van had been searched at the time, police would have seen other things belonging to the children.

Mr Thornton also told the court:  ‘It has to be said the complainant’s conduct still continues. He has not stopped using that lane and it is private property but Mr Di Ciacca is aware that he has to follow it up in a proper legal manner.’

Fining Di Ciacco, Sheriff Hughes said: ‘This was a very unfortunate incident. I’ve taken into account that nothing like this will happen again.’