Jim Stevenson confronted 72-year-old James Woodside as the pensioner was putting his bin out late at night. The victim had 10 staples put in a head cut and seven stitches in a deep wound to his thigh.
Stevenson, 58, admitted assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement when he appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court last Thursday
It happened outside his home in Lloyd Street, Motherwell, on April 19, 2020.
Jennifer Cunningham, prosecuting, said the neighbours had been friends but prior to the attack hadn't spoken to each other for more than a year due to "an ongoing dispute". Mr Woodside was putting his bin out when he noticed Stevenson banging on the window. He ignored this but his neighbour came out and demanded a "square go".
Ms Cunningham told the court: "The accused punched Mr Woodside who retaliated by punching him. They began to fight and were rolling about on the grass. The accused stood up, picked up a spade and went back towards Mr Woodside who was still lying on the grass. He struck him repeatedly on the head and body with the spade. Both men were covered in blood."
Mr Woodside managed to grab one end of the spade and shouted 'That's it'. Stevenson then stopped the attack.
Defence agent Matthew McGovern accepted it was a serious matter but urged Sheriff John Speir not to jail his client. He pointed out that Stevenson has a "limited" criminal record and social workers assessed him as being at "minimal" risk of re-offending.
Sheriff Speir told Stevenson the situation was "very finely balanced" but he was prepared to impose an alternative to prison.
He said: "Reports highlight you have had mental health difficulties for a number of years.”
Stevenson must pay the compensation at £100 per month. He will be under supervision for a year and must carry out 300 hours of unpaid community work. He will be confined to his home between 7pm and 7am each day for nine months under an electronic tagging order.
The sheriff also imposed a non-harassment order, meaning Stevenson must have no contact with his neighbour for three years.