A woman objected to an Asian couple painting their takeaway a lurid yellow colour because she was trying to sell her house nearby, calling it “f***ing disgusting”, a court heard.
Fearful that the bright colour would put off potential buyers, Zoya Bannatyne repeatedly asked the Singh family to repaint their restaurant.
Cat Jagla, prosecuting, told Livingston Sheriff Court that matters came to a head in May this year when Bannatyne approached the couple outside their business.
She shouted at them: “The colour of your shop is an eyesore!”
When the Singhs asked her what she meant, Bannatyne replied: “I’m trying to sell my house” and threatened to contact environmental health.
Ms Jagla said the accused then left but returned 10 minutes later and referred to the colour of the shop as “f***ing disgusting”. She repeated that she was trying to sell her house a few doors away.
Bannatyne told Mrs Singh: “I’m going to keep coming back here if you don’t change it” and, turning to Mr Singh, she raged: “Your food f***ing stinks, just like you!”
The incident was reported to the police and Bannatyne, who is understood to be Russian, was later charged with a racially aggravated breach of the peace.
Bannatyne, 42, of Union Road, Bathgate, pleaded guilty on Monday to causing a disturbance outside Rubbal’s Takeaway in Bathgate on May 11 by repeatedly shouting and swearing, acting aggressively and uttering offensive remarks.
The charge was reduced in seriousness after the prosecution accepted her claim that the incident had not been racially aggravated.
Iain Smith, defending, claimed his client had asked the shop owners to use a different colour because her house was on the market for sale.
He said: “She behaved poorly and accepts she shouldn’t have done that. She just got annoyed at what they’d done.
“She accepts it was an unpleasant thing to say. She’s embarrassed by what she’s done and she does regret it.”
Sheriff Martin Edington fined Bannatyne £200 and imposed a victim surcharge of £10.
He told her: “This was a very unpleasant piece of behaviour on your behalf, but I’m prepared to accept that you had at least an explanation for why you behaved in this disgraceful fashion.
“This happened four months ago and you pled guilty at the first opportunity so I’m prepared to dispose of this by way of a fine.”