A 41-year-old who threatened to burn a man’s house down has been fined £500 for provoking behaviour.

Steven Paul Wheeler admitted the offence and was also ordered to pay £125 prosecution costs by magistrates.

Prosecuting advocate Rebecca Cubbon told the court that Wheeler was outside his ex-partner’s home in Peel on July 27, at 6.15pm.

He said he had arranged to drop off some money that he owed her and was leaving it in an envelope, along with some flowers.

The complainant in the case, who was a neighbour of the woman, was said to have told Wheeler that he was not allowed to be there and to leave.

Wheeler was said to have responded by telling him: ‘I could have you anytime you old b*stard.’

The complainant laughed which prompted Wheeler to add: ‘You won’t be laughing when I burn your house down.’

Wheeler then left but again said: ‘I’ll burn your house down.’

He then pushed the man, who pushed him back.

A witness said that Wheeler had been the aggressor and confirmed that they had heard the threats.

At police headquarters, the defendant, who lives at The Paddocks in Ballasalla, admitted making the threats but said that he had no intention to carry them out.

Defence advocate Winston Taylor said that Wheeler had split up with his girlfriend two weeks before the incident and had agreed to leave the money he owed her on the porch.

He said that he had then been accosted by the neighbour, who he claimed had hit him on the arm and spat in his face.

Wheeler said he had then ‘saw red mist’ and made the threats.

He said that he had gone to police headquarters the following day and told them that had been assaulted but that he didn’t want to pursue the matter, then was subsequently arrested himself.

‘He accepts he shouldn’t have said what he said, but it was a result of being spat on,’ said Mr Taylor.

‘He has sought now to make a complaint and is waiting for the police to get back to him.’

Magistrates ordered Wheeler to pay the fine and costs at a rate of £30 per fortnight.