A CALLOUS Clydebank thug has been jailed for a year after a sheriff described his attack on a defenceless woman as “horrific, sustained and cowardly”.

Joseph Rae, 39, of Duncombe View, North Drumry, carried out the terrifying assault on November 26, last year, at a house in East Barns Street, Whitecrook.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard on Friday how Rae, who was found guilty after trial, attacked his partner and repeatedly uttered threats of violence towards her and her family.

He then grabbed her by the hair and pulled her down a flight of stairs and on to a sofa. He bit her on the nose and broke a mirror, took hold of a piece of glass and repeatedly cut her on the face.

In a sustained assault, he chased her, grabbed her clothing and pulled and pushed her on the body.

Rae then grabbed her by the hair and threatened her with further violence and brandished a knife at her.

Defence lawyer Tom Brown said: “He has been out of trouble for some considerable time. I appreciate it is a serious matter. Clearly he had been drinking heavily. He realises custody is in the forefront of the court’s mind. He has been out of trouble since 2008 and this was a one off, although it has to be conceded it was a nasty crime. He is suitable for unpaid work and supervision.”

Sheriff John Hamilton told Rae: “Your record stretches back 23 years. By 2000 you had developed a violent streak, including an assault with a knife. You found yourself a vulnerable woman, you got drunk and carried out a horrific, sustained and cowardly attack.

“You smashed a mirror, punched her on the face and body, called her ugly and pulled shards of glass from the broken mirror down her face. She made an attempt to get away from you and you pulled her back and continued your cowardly assault on her.

“When you went to trial you had a special defence of alibi and brought along your sister to lie for you. There is only one possible option in sentencing open to me and that is custody. You are very fortunate this was not brought by the prosecution on indictment, so my powers are limited.”

Rae was jailed for the maximum of 12 months. The sheriff also imposed a three year non-harassment order on Rae, banning him from approaching or contacting his victim in any way.

Prosecutor Sarah Healing, who moved the sheriff to impose the order,  said: “She is extremely fearful for when he is released from prison.”