AN ANGRY pensioner threatened a horse rider amid a community dispute about their presence in the area.

James Murphy, 75, lashed out at Woodmill Park in Torrance, East Dunbartonshire, on September 18, 2021.

Murphy hurled verbal abuse towards a woman on horseback before repeatedly grabbing its reins.

Months earlier Murphy accelerated "very close" to the path of horses crossing a nearby road.

Murphy plead guilty today at Glasgow Sheriff Court to careless driving.

He also admitted a separate charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.

The court heard three women on horses left Meadowbank farm for a ride on July 31, 2021.

They became aware of Murphy on the road in a blue Renault Kadjar.

The riders believed Murphy would let them pass as he initially came to a stop.

Prosecutor Heather Naismith said: "They carried on and crossed Murphy's path.

"He then accelerated sharply forward not leaving adequate space between the vehicle and the horses.

"The driver continued on without stopping.

"A witness noted that Murphy was very close to her and was six inches away."

A 999 call was made where officers later confirmed Murphy was the driver of the car.

The hearing was told of the later event when a rider attempted to acclimatise a horse to the public.

The rider and an accompanying dog walker went to a parking bay at Wademill Park.

Ms Naismith said: "They were approached by Murphy who immediately became abusive shouting and swearing."

Murphy stated: "What the f*** are you doing here, get the f*** out.

"You can't be here, get the f*** out, no f***ing horses allowed.

"I'm f***ing telling you, I look after this park, get the f*** out."

Murphy grabbed the reins of the horse causing it to raise its front legs on three occasions.

The rider who was in "fear" initially asked Murphy to leave.

However, he continued to shut and swear before eventually walking away.

Ann McKinley, defending, told the court that the community became upset at horses using the path.

The lawyer added: "They are not allowed to use this path any longer as it was causing damage to the grass.

"People would fall when playing football causing injury.

"It does not excuse his behaviour but that's the background."

Sheriff Amel Elfallah ordered Murphy to be of good behaviour for six months.

She told him: "You should not have behaved this way, this was irresponsible by you and you could have caused an accident on two occasions.

"I shudder to think what could have happened if that horse kicked someone or other horses got involved.

"Stay away from them."

Murphy replied: "Honest to god, I am."

Sheriff Elfallah stated: "It's got nothing to do with you."