A MAN has been cleared of assault on his wife after the family cat of more than two decades was cremated.

The crown dropped their charges against Martin McKenzie just minutes into his partner’s evidence as Sheriff William Gallacher questioned why the case ever went to court.

Mr McKenzie was charged with shouting and swearing and acting aggressively towards the woman and two sons at their home in Broom Drive on January 10. He was also alleged to have assaulted his wife and one of the sons.

In evidence, the woman said the family had cremated their family cat of 21.5 years earlier that day.

When they returned home, she went to prepare dinner but Mr McKenzie didn’t join her to help as he usually would.

She told the court: “It was a bad atmosphere, a sad atmosphere. I went [into the living room] and said, ‘Is this a hotel?’ “He said, ‘Well, you never asked me.’ We just started arguing. I told him to go to his gran’s – just for a wee bit of peace because I knew it was going to get into a big argument.

“I went to the bedroom to throw his clothes out of the wardrobe. He came up and asked what I was doing.

“We were both shouting and balling at each other. I stumbled back on to the bed and dragged him with me ... just shouting in each other’s face.”

She added it was her son who phoned police.

Fiscal depute Martina McGuigan then suddenly halted evidence and asked for the witness to be taken out.

There was a lengthy silence and then Sheriff Gallacher addressed the witness: “I might have thought the police had better things to do with their time and this court had better things to do with their time.”

The witness replied: “Yes.”

The Crown withdrew the charges against Mr McKenzie and he was found not guilty and left the dock.