A FUNERAL director who carried out a 10-year campaign of harassment against his neighbours has been banned from contacting them for 12 years.

William Main harassed two sets of neighbours by setting off fireworks, shining a torch into their home and firing an air rifle towards their garden at Newtonless in Dunbar.

Main, 63, also deliberately used power tools in his home despite knowing neighbour Linda Thomson was on nightshift and made false reports to the police about their conduct.

Mrs Thomson and husband Derek said that they were forced to move away from their “beautiful” home following Main’s behaviour towards them, which took place on “a daily basis”.

Main also turned his attention to new neighbours Jone Matteucci and Rebecca Weightman by lighting fires in his garden and following them in his car.

Main denied the allegations but was found guilty following a two-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in December.

READ MOREWilliam Main: Funeral director's 10 years of abuse against neighbours

The funeral business owner returned to the dock last Thursday, where Sheriff Roderick Flynn said that his behaviour had “an emotional and psychological impact” on his neighbours.

The sheriff added: “This case called before me in December and I found you guilty of both charges on the complaint.

“I was entirely satisfied to the credibility and the reliability of the four Crown witnesses.

“In this case, I am satisfied there is an alternative to imprisonment.

“Your conduct was planned and deliberate, and had an emotional and psychological impact on the complainers.”

Main was ordered to carry out 280 hours of unpaid work and handed a non-harassment order banning him from having any contact with both couples for the next 12 years.

Harassed 'on a daily basis'

The trial heard from Main’s neighbour Linda Thomson, who said that she and her husband Derek were forced to move home after being harassed between 2010 and 2017.

Mrs Thomson, 58, said that the funeral director shot a firearm across their garden while they were relaxing outside and would regularly shine a torch into their home while out walking his dog.

Main also used power tools through the day knowing that Mrs Thomson was working nightshift and she said the day before they moved away Main had organised “a major fireworks display” in his garden.

Mrs Thomson added that when they complained to Main about his behaviour, he reported them to the police and local council over bogus noise complaints.

Husband Derek Thomson, 63, told the court that he was harassed by Main on “a daily basis” and was forced to change his route home on four occasions in a bid to stop Main from approaching him.

He said: “The intent was to make me nervous and unfortunately it worked. He was always there, always watching me.”

Mr Thomson added that it “proved impossible” to avoid meeting Main and the situation was proving “very stressful”.

The couple said that they were forced to move from their “beautiful” home in 2017 following the seven years of harassment from their neighbour.

Main was found guilty of engaging in a course of conduct which caused Derek and Linda Thomson fear and alarm between December 13, 2010, and July 14, 2017.

He was also found guilty of engaging in a course of conduct which caused Jone Matteucci and Rebecca Weightman fear and alarm between July 14, 2017, and March 31, 2020.