An award-winning Perthshire chef battered a man over the head with a cricket bat in a row over a car parking space.
William Deans, who won gold for Scotland at the culinary Olympics, was yesterday found guilty after trial of assaulting letting agent Gary Cumming at the rear of his own restaurant.
Mr Cumming was said to have been left with bruises to his head, arm and back following the attack at Deans Restaurant on Kinnoull Street, Perth.
Perth Sheriff Court heard Deans was in a long-running dispute with Mr Cumming over the use of a car park situated between his restaurant and Mr Cumming’s Lettings Direct business.
On Sunday June 7 last year, Mr Cumming had driven into Perth with his wife when he noticed two vehicles parked without permission in the car park that he knew belonged to Deans and his wife.
Mr Cumming had gone to the restaurant’s back door to get Deans to move both cars when the assault occurred.
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis heard Deans, who was said to be in the middle of a busy lunch rush, was foaming at the mouth as he bolted out the back of his restaurant in a rage and attacked Mr Cumming.
Mr Cumming claimed he feared for his life when Deans began smacking him around the head, back and arms with the bat.
He said: “We had had problems in the past so I thought I would knock on his back door and ask him politely to move.
“Within a few seconds Mr Deans came straight to my face at the back door. There was a heated exchange straight away.
“He said ‘I’ve got the right thing for somebody like you.’”
Deans picked up a cricket bat that was lying near his restaurant’s back door after having been left in his restaurant by a previous customer.
Mr Cumming continued: “I thought he was going to kill me. My wife was standing there, screaming her head off.
“He was foaming at the mouth and completely lost the plot. I pinned him down and asked him if I let go would he leave me alone. I just walked away.”
Deans, 53, of Glenorchil View, Auchterarder, was found guilty of assaulting Mr Cumming by repeatedly striking him on the head and body with a cricket bat to his injury on Carpenter Street, Perth.
Deans claimed he was acting in self-defence after Mr Cumming raised a full litter wheelie bin over his head and threw it at him.
Sheriff Foulis said: “In my view there were numerous options you could have taken that did not require you to arm yourself, advance on Mr Cumming and strike him on the head and body.
“What you said to the police when you were apprehended accurately reflected your position, ‘I know it was wrong to do it’. And that is indeed the case.”
Deans formerly worked at the Turnberry Hotel in Ayrshire and was head chef at the Buttery in Glasgow for a number of years.
He was named Scottish Chef of the Year in 1995. He represented Scotland several times in the culinary Olympics, winning gold and a number of other medals.
Sentence was deferred until May 4 for reports.