An Irvine wheelie bin cleaner who landed in hot water when a turf war with a rival cleaning firm spilled on to the streets received fine at court this week.

Adam Ferguson - of Wheelie Clean Services - was facing up to a year behind bars for trying to mow down a man who owns a company with the same name and operates in the same area. 

Ferguson, 62, landed in more trouble during the case when a warrant was put out for his arrest because he failed to turn up for a previous sentencing hearing. 

However, it later emerged he missed the court date because his wife Margerey, 61, was diagnosed with cancer.

Ferguson, of Cairnsgarroch Way, was facing up to a year behind bars for trying to mow down the man in Islay Crescent, Glenburn, Paisley, Renfrewshire, on June 8 last year. 

He denied trying to reverse over the man after their spat over company names got heated as they both operated in the same street.

The man told Ferguson's Paisley Sheriff Court trial: "I saw his van coming round the corner at speed. 

"The van pulled up alongside our van - it was all a bit schoolboy-ish.

"He asked me how long we had been in business, and I told him 22 years. 

"He said, 'Ah, we’ve been going 23 years.' 

"Then he asked what we were called and said he had come up with the name Wheelie Clean Services, and I wasn’t smart enough to come up with it."

He tried to move back to his own vehicle but Ferguson attacked, trying to mow him down with the heavy van, which carries large amounts of water to allow them to clean the bins. 

He said: "I was moving towards the back of my van when I told them just to get on with their work.

"I approached the back of his van and he went into reverse.

"I tried to bring an end to the whole melee, but as I went to the back of his van he went into reverse again.

"He reversed again at speed and I had to step back onto the pavement."

He said he was "shaken" by what had happened and denied claims from Ferguson's lawyer that he had "made this story up to try to put your rival off the road" as they "work in the same area, have the same business name and provide the same service." 

Ferguson also took the stand to give evidence, claiming the rammy began when he asked him to fold his wing mirror in to allow him to pass on a narrow street.  

He admitted they were rivals but denied he'd tried to knock him down, adding: "Of course it annoys me to see him using the same name as us and working in the same area.

"I have that name registered. It was my name." 

But Sheriff Spy dismissed his version of events and found Ferguson, of Irvine, guilty.

When the case against Ferguson called in court earlier this year, defence solicitor Alastair Gray explained: "Two days prior to the deferred sentence he received the news his wife had been diagnosed cancer. 

"Really that took over all the thoughts he was having at the time and as a result of that he forgot to attend court. 

"Mr Ferguson would be willing to undertake unpaid work [as part of a Community Payback Order] but there is some ambiguity about that.

"He would be willing to undertake such an order but your Lordship may need further information about whether such an order is likely to succeed."

At the time, Sheriff James Spy said he would "consider all the options" and deferred sentence to see if Ferguson, who has health difficulties, would be fit to carry out unpaid work.

And when he returned to the dock on Tuesday to learn his fate, Sheriff James Spy spared him prison after hearing he is no longer working and is waiting for an echocardiogram - a procedure which can detect heart defects. 

He said: "Given this has been outstanding for a number of months now and your health has issues about it, you'll be fined £200."