Former Royal Marine Douglas Collier is stunned to have become the oldest person in Wiltshire to be given an Asbo at the ripe old age of 74.

Cancer sufferer Mr Douglas, who is adored by his 17 grandchildren, could hardly believe it when a police woman turned up on his doorstep in Westbury Leigh and handed him an interim anti-social behaviour order which had been issued by Chippenham Magistrates’ Court on July 27.

Mr Douglas, who was once a proud wearer of the green beret as a member of 40 Commando Royal Marines in national service, was accused by neighbours Stuart Adey and Evelyn Harrison of giving them abuse and smearing dog excrement on their house. But Mr Collier said this week: “I had just been into Westbury to pick up a prescription.

“I didn’t know anything about it until a policewoman from Westbury came out here. She asked to see me and said they were going to take me to court on September 7.

“The order says that I have sworn at them in the garden and that is drivel. This to me is just evil.”

He is supported by neighbours Lesley and David Blaber who say Mr Collier is the model family man.

Mrs Blaber, 63, said: “He’s a good neighbour who always offers help and looks after you.

“He’s a good family man and was a hard-working businessman all his life.

“I think it’s disgusting that he’s been given this Asbo.”

The retired builder lives with wife Beryl, 66, and their granddaughter Leanne Holland and her dog Alfie in Westbury Leigh, Mr Collier's daughter-in-law, Hazel, 43, who lives next door, said: “I think it’s downright disgusting that a chap of his age can be issued with this.

“The authorities never asked him his side of the story. They’ve treated him like a yob.

“We don't need the stress and the trauma.”

Mr Collier worked for Westbury building firm J D Annetts until 1979. He then became a self-employed builder but had to retire after a hip operation in 2002.

He has prostate cancer and also suffers from arthritis, glaucoma and lung problems.

He said: “I’ve been here 48 years and never had any problems. I’ve never done anyone any harm. I would help anybody.

“I’m 75 this year and I’ve never been in court and never been in trouble. This has spoilt my reputation. I’m very proud of my reputation.”

But Inspector Dave Minty of Warminster and Westbury Police said: “The decision to take this action was not taken lightly. We take reports of this nature very seriously and in this case alternative measures did not prove successful.”

Mr Adey and Miss Harrison who made the accusations moved out a month ago.

But under the order, Mr Collier has been prohibited from contacting them or going within two metres of any of their vehicles or encouraging other people to do so.

He is due to appear at Chippenham Magistrates’ Court again on September 7 for a review of the Asbo.