Binman verbally abused customer before ramming van with car

Scott Bell verbally abused the woman after an argument broke out over the quality of a cleaning company's service.

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A binman told a female customer that “folk would kick her c**t in”, before ramming her van with his car, causing £1500 worth of damage.

Scott Bell, 29, waded in as the woman argued with his boss about rubbish strewn over her drive.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Katie Cunningham told Falkirk Sheriff Court that the 30-year-old woman had “hired people to clear rubbish” but some had been tipped on her driveway.

Ms Cunningham said: “She wasn’t happy to pay. She had hired people to empty the bins, and there was certain rubbish lying on the driveway, and she wasn’t happy with the work that had been done.

“The accused and another man had arrived to collect payment from the customer.

“An argument broke out between them as she was unhappy that rubbish had been tipped into her driveway.”

Bell, who had been sitting in a car in the street during an initial conversation between the woman and his boss, got out and “started shouting threatening comments”.

Ms Cunningham said: “He said that folk would attend and ‘kick her c**t in’.

“He then returned to the car, drove it forward, and struck the front of the witness’s vehicle, causing estimated damage of £1500.

“Police were contacted.”

The court heard that at the time Bell drove forward, causing the collision, there were children in his car who were unsecured.

Bell, of Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, pleaded guilty to using threatening and abusive behaviour towards the woman, who wasn’t named in court, by repeatedly shouting and swearing and uttering threats of violence at an address in Main Street, Shieldhill, Falkirk.

He also admitted driving dangerously and striking the woman’s six-year-old Ford Transit Custom 290 Eco-Tech, which was parked on the street, causing it “extensive damage”.

An allegation that he had brandished a hockey stick during the stand-off was dropped by the prosecution.

The incident happened about 6.00pm on October 10 last year.

Bell’s lawyer, Martin Morrow, solicitor-advocate, said: “Mr Bell was working for a cleaning company.

“What they do is take rubbish away.

“There was some backdrop in relation to payment, and there was still some rubbish lying on the garden path.

“It’s fair to say that tempers were lost between the householder and Mr Bell’s employer and there was something of a shouting match between them over who was going to blink first about cleaning up the rubbish or not.

“Mr Bell stupidly got himself involved. He shouted this comment, then sensibly decided to get out of it all.

“Quite angry at that point, he gets in his car and that’s where the driving happened. The distance covered was very short, but it was covered at speed, and there was damage to the vehicle ahead of him.

“The plan behind Mr Bell driving wasn’t deliberate vandalism of the vehicle, it was to get out of the place, and he just miscalculated.”

Mr Morrow said there had been “no ongoing difficulties” between Bell and the victim, and Bell was still occasionally working for the same cleaning company – not named in court.

Sheriff Eric Brown told Bell that since his last conviction was in 2015, he would deal with the incident as “a one-off”.

He fined him £380 and banned him from driving for 12 months.

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