CANARY WARFARE; Bird man punched judge but claims it was in self-defence.
English bird-fancier Mark Lowry punched judge James McTaggart in a hotel bar - but claimed it was in self-defence.
A court heard feathers flew when the two men were staying at the same hotel during the international canary competition between England, Scotland and Wales.
Canary expert Lowry, 35, is accused of flying into a rage when the judge threatened to give low marks for his birds.
The court had heard that Lowry threw a punch when Mr McTaggart, from Girvan, Ayshire, said: "If your birds aren't good enough, I will put you down.".
Lowry, of Carlisle, Cumbria, claims the judge was not talking about birds - but was threatening to hit him.
He told the court: "We were discussing canaries and people and suddenly McTaggart got aggressive.
"We both stood up, he hit me first, and I hit him. He went over a stool.
"My back was to the wall and it was an instant reaction to defend myself."
Lowry denies unlawful wounding and two charges of perverting the course of justice.
The trial at Cardiff Crown Court continues.