A NORTH Berwick man has been told by a sheriff that “all options are open” to the court after he was caught making threats to neighbours while in possession of a knife.

Peter Renton, 51, made the threatening comments to three men while holding the blade in the communal back garden of the properties on the town’s Forth Street last year.

Fiscal depute Sarah Noon told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that three witnesses were within a flat on Forth Street when they overheard “a loud crashing noise” and, when they looked out, they spotted Renton throwing a fire pit around.

The men asked why he had moved the pit but were met with a barrage of abuse and threatening comments, including “youse are getting it” and “wait till I see youse” during the incident between 3pm and 4pm on July 15 last year.

The court was told that later that same afternoon one of the witnesses saw Renton “in the back garden while holding a large kitchen knife” and were said to be “concerned”.

Again, the witness was met with threatening comments after enquiring why Renton was in the garden with the large blade.

Police were called and Renton was traced and arrested.

The court heard that no blade was ever recovered but Renton had admitted to officers he had been in the garden “sharpening the knife”.

'Underlying issues'

Lawyer Mary Moultrie, representing Renton, said that “the group of males had taken issue with him [Renton] and had shouted at him from their window”, which had led to the confrontation.

Ms Moultrie said that her client suffered from “underlying drug and alcohol issues” and the court was told Renton was subject to a restriction of liberty order where he had to wear an electronic tag and stay within his home between 8pm and 7am.

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll noted that Renton had “a large number of previous convictions” for behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and “troublingly” for knife possession.

Sheriff O’Carroll deferred sentence on Renton to next month for social work reports to be prepared.

The sheriff said: “With a considerable degree of hesitation, which you will have noted, I am going to defer sentence on you to get reports.

“But then Mr Renton, all options are open and in the meantime your bail conditions will continue, including your curfew conditions.”

Renton admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by uttering threats while holding a knife at Forth Street on July 15 last year.