A Cardenden pensioner with a gripe about his faulty heating system attacked a neighbour simply because he works for the council.

Alexander Dowie, 73, was furious about having no hot water in his council home and took out his anger on the neighbour, a local authority employee, as he headed to work in the morning.

He punched the man, grabbed his hair and tried to bite him during the incident.

As a result, Dowie, of Cardenden Road, appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, representing himself.

He admitted that on September 29 at Cardenden Road he assaulted a man by seizing him by the clothing, repeatedly punched him on the body, seized a lanyard from his neck, pushed him, struggled with him, seized him by the hair and attempted to bite him on the arm.

Depute fiscal Amy Robertson said that at 8.10am the council worker was leaving his home to go to work when he was confronted by Dowie in the common stairwell.

She went on: “The accused began saying that he and his boss had ruined his life. This related to heating issues with his council property.

“He grabbed him by the tee-shirt and tried to wrestle with him. He punched him to the chest a few times then grabbed his lanyard from him. He refused to give it back.

“He punched him again then pushed him as a struggle ensued. He then tried to bite his arm.

“The complainer’s glasses fell off and the accused kicked them down the stairs. He eventually got his lanyard back and called the police.”

Sheriff Grant McCulloch asked Dowie: “Why did you do this?”

He answered: “My central heating and hot water haven’t been working for three months.

"I’ve not been able to have a shower.

“He works for the council. That’s what it’s all about.

"He knows who switched it off. They’ve got something against me, him and his boss.”

The sheriff said: “You’ve got this story about some unnamed person. A woman, who is this man’s boss. You say she organised this but you’ve no idea why?”

“No,” he replied.

The sheriff told Dowie he should have contacted his councillor and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

“You don’t seem to be bothered about this assault,” added the sheriff.

Dowie shrugged: “There wasn’t much damage to him. There’s about five stones difference between him and me.”

Sheriff McCulloch called for reports and Dowie will be sentenced on November 23.