A gay man who gave his lesbian neighbours a curry laced with slug pellets was involved in a long-running feud with them.

Gary Stewart, 37, told magistrates in Manchester that he had attempted to poison Marie Walton and Beverley Sales but denied making threats to kill.

Neighbours in Denton said the trio had argued for years, while one incident allegedly involved Stewart kidnapping their three-legged cat and leaving it in a village several miles away.

On the night of the poisoning attempt, Stewart offered the couple leftover curry as a peace offering, claiming he had ordered too much takeaway.

When Walton and Sales began to eat, they discovered the slug pellets and called the police, who arrested Stewart.

Although slug pellets are extremely dangerous to children and animals, they are not usually strong enough to kill an adult.

Stewart’s 42-year-old partner is thought to have become ill and died over the summer. Neighbours said the couple were initially pleasant but then turned “vindictive”.

Stewart will be sentenced at a later date.