A Dumbarton man accused of going “berserk over a mince pie” has been convicted of attacking a neighbour and friend, leaving him with blood gushing from his head.

Joseph McPhail, 50, was found guilty of the attack which left his victim needing seven stitches to the back of his head, five to the front, a partially collapsed lung and fractured ribs.

But McPhail claimed he’d just had a fight that “went too far” after his “very good friend” fed a mince pie and “poisoned” his dog.

McPhail said he got a call from his friend who was off work on January 11 and they agreed to have a nice day together. Though he told Dumbarton Sheriff Court he doesn’t drink, he did have Frosty Jack cider and vodka some that day.

They were in the friend’s home in Murroch Avenue from 12noon and McPhail said he only left at one point to feed his dog.

But the day turned sour.

“I repeatedly asked him not to give him [the dog] mince pies,” McPhail told the court. "I went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

“And he says the dog had taken one of his mince pies. They were still in the box and the dog would not take anything on the table.

“He says the dog took the mince pie. A dog can’t take a mince pie out of a box, then shut the box.

“He got a bit cheeky with me. He was getting aggressive.

“One word followed another word and it kind of got out of hand.”

Police were called to the area in the early hours of January 12 and spoke to McPhail at his window. When officers went inside, he claimed his dog had been poisoned and looked quite upset. There were no injuries noted on McPhail.

One cop told the court: “He said they had a bit of a fight and it went too far.”

The officer went to check on the welfare of the other man who was nearby. It eventually took five minutes for the victim to come to the door. His head and face were covered in blood - and it was still pouring out.

The man was rushed to the Royal Alexandra Hospital but three days later would not give a statement to police. He said, "he believed Mr McPhail acted out of character and normally they got along", an officer told the court.

In his evidence to the trial, the victim had described McPhail had “gone berserk”.

Fiscal depute Martina McGuigan challenged the accused as he defended himself on the stand.

“You went berserk that night all over a mince pie,” she said.

“No, no,” replied McPhail. He then claimed he was “remorseful” having seen photos of his friend’s injuries.

“I’m really sorry that it’s come to this,” he added.

McPhail was charged with striking the man on the head with a piece of crockery to his severe injury. There was a plate broken in four pieces and police didn't note any items.

But Sheriff Simon Pender said while McPhail effectively admitted the assault, he couldn't conclude the plate caused the partially collapsed lung or fractured ribs.

He convicted McPhail of striking the man to his severe injury. McPhail, now of Cables Drive, Bonhill, will be sentenced on July 2.