A farmer has appeared in court after he ran over his neighbour with his tractor during a fight over DIY repairs to a dirt track leading to his farmyard.

Frank Ainsworth, 64, was accused of confronting off duty police sergeant Colin MacDiarmid, 43, after spotting him digging holes at the side of gravelled lane next to the officer’s rural cottage.

Although the sergeant had placed a traffic cone at the side of the hole for safety reasons, the farmer told him to stop digging – and warned he would “drive over him” if he failed to comply, it was said.

But when Sgt MacDiarmid warned his elderly neighbour he would be committing a criminal offence, Mr Ainsworth went home, returning later at the wheel of his 20mph tractor. It is claimed he then drove straight at his neighbour, colliding with Sgt MacDiarmid’s leg and crushing his wheelbarrow and traffic cone.

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