A KNIGHTSWOOD man who grabbed a female train conductor by the throat, then failed to complete a community payback order, has narrowly avoided being sent to prison.

Steven Gilmartin, 46, pounced whilst on a journey between Dalmuir and Helensburgh stations on November 22, 2017.

He was previously sentenced to carry out work as part of a community payback order, but was back in the dock last week as he has not completed enough of his punishment.

In court, it emerged Gilmartin had only bothered to turn up for half of the sessions he was supposed to.

As well as the attack on the ticket examiner, Gilmartin, of Glavie Road, was also convicted of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard previously how the thug had attempted to seize the ticket examiner’s money bag and repeatedly attempted to grab other bags belonging to fellow passengers on the train.

He also threw a bottle and was shouting and swearing during the incident. He then pulled camera equipment from the clothing of a passenger which fell on to the railway line and was damaged.

Making a plea for leniency on behalf of his client, Gilmartin’s defence lawyer described the latest report on his client as ‘quite positive’.

However, Sheriff Maxwell Hendry told Gilmartin: “I am not blessed with second sight. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Your attendance as part of your community payback order is 50 percent which is not good enough. You must address your alcohol abuse. I need to see a much better attendance the next time you appear before me. The alternative is a custodial sentence. The ball is in your court.” A further review was ordered for March 14.