An unhappy Fife landlord took advantage of a court hearing attended by both him and his tenant to lock her out of her home.
The woman returned from the civil court proceedings to find her flat boarded up and new locks fitted.
The actions of property owner Satwant Sidhu landed him back in court but this time for a criminal case for contravening the Rent (Scotland) Act.
Sidhu, 54, of Glenbervie Road, Kirkcaldy, admitted that on May 30 2014 at Greycraigs, Cairneyhill, he deprived or attempted to deprive Carol Dickie, the residential occupier of the flatted dwelling house, of her occupation of the premises, by changing locks and boarding up the windows.
Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia told Dunfermline Sheriff Court that Sidhu is the owner of the property at Cairneyhill. Having suffered financial difficulties, he rented out the flat to the complainer in October 2013.
There had been agreements reached about work which was to be done around the property.
However, disputes over these matters resulted in civil court proceedings.
On May 30 2014 Sidhu and his tenant were in court for a hearing.
“The accused clearly knew she would be out of the house,” said Mr Kapadia. He then arranged for two males to go to the house, change the locks and board up the windows.
“When the tenant came home to find the windows boarded up she was shocked,” added Mr Kapadia.
She contacted the police and also had to call a locksmith to attend so that she could get back in.
“It was clear to her that he had arranged it for a time when he knew she would out at court,” said the depute.
Defence solicitor Neil Davidson said there has been an “ongoing saga between Mr Sidhu and Mrs Dickie”.
He said his client had now recovered the house through the proper channels.
The solicitor said his client had been having significant financial problems and health problems at the time of the offence.
He went on: “Everything seemed to be getting on top of him and he made a rash decision.
“In hindsight he recognises this was not the way to go about matters. He can only apologise to the court and apologise for the stress he caused her.”
His client previously had a take-away food shop but since his health problems now works part-time in a similar business.
Sheriff Donald Ferguson said the Rent Act was in place to stop people acting in this way. He fined Sidhu £540.