A THUG has been locked up for persistently failing to comply with two community-based punishments imposed by a court.

Kenneth Gillespie was sentenced to eight months in jail after a sheriff labelled him a liar and a thug.

The 27-year-old, of West Court, had been placed on two separate community payback orders (CPOs) after admitting charges of threatening or abusive behaviour – one of them aggravated because it involved abuse of a partner or ex-partner.

A woman who was with Gillespie burst into tears after Sheriff John Hamilton handed down the jail sentence during a CPO review hearing at Dumbarton Sheriff Court last Friday.

Gillespie’s solicitor, Jonathan Paul, told the court a report on his client’s progress on the CPOs was “not impressive”.

Sheriff Hamilton snapped: “It’s extremely poor. He seems to think he doesn’t have to do it.”

Mr Paul said his client had been put on the PAIR programme, an initiative for perpetrators of domestic abuse, on two occasions but had failed to complete it each time.

Mr Paul told the court: “I’ve made it clear to him that he is on a precipice today but the overall structure of the [CPO] sentence would address his offending behaviour.

“His level of commitment must be raised dramatically. Otherwise, he knows what the option will be but, in the long-term, [prison] won’t address his offending behaviour.”

Sheriff Hamilton replied: “That’s his problem. There’s been two attempts [at the PAIR programme] and he’s failed.

“The review report says, ‘He was of the view he did not need to comply’. He failed to complete two group sessions. Why should he get three attempts?”

Mr Paul said his client had claimed the first of those sessions had been cancelled – but the sheriff replied: “That’s not what the report says. I know who I believe – and it’s not him.”

Sheriff Hamilton then pointed out that Gillespie was also subject to two unpaid work orders as part of the CPOs.

Mr Paul said Gillespie had told him he was too ill to do the work but the sheriff was unmoved, saying: “He’s not told that to the unpaid-work people.”

Referring to the detail of one of the threatening or abusive behaviour charges, the sheriff noted that Gillespie had “burst into a neighbour’s flat and told them not to grass him up”.

The sheriff also pointed out that Gillespie had served 27 months behind bars 10 years ago for an assault with a golf club.

Sheriff Hamilton said: “We know he’s a liar. We know he’s a thug. He is a very unpleasant character who is given the privilege of an opportunity to do unpaid work and take part in the PAIR programme and he decides, ‘I’m not going to do it’.”

Addressing Gillespie directly, the sheriff repeated: “You’re a thug. Let’s forget about trying to improve you. You have singularly failed to comply with the court’s orders and displayed contempt for what was laid in front of you.”