A YOUNG Clydebank thug who chased a complete stranger through the streets of Dalmuir while armed with a knife has been spared time behind bars.

Andrew Devenney chased his intended victim along Mountblow Road, Lilac Avenue and Laurel Avenue, forcing the man – and a woman who was with him – to take refuge in a nearby shop.

The incident happened at around 6.15pm on March 25 last year, when the man and his female companion were walking along a footpath on Mountblow Road near the Mountblow Superstore shop.

Devenney, of Melbourne Avenue, 20, appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentencing on Friday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to charges of threatening or abusive behaviour and being in possession of a knife.

A hearing in January was told that Devenney was heard shouting “YAASS” as he pulled a knife from his trousers.

The owner of the Mountblow Superstore saw Devenney throwing an object into the burn running through the nearby Dalmuir Park.

Police later viewed CCTV footage showing part of the pursuit; cameras also captured footage of Devenney placing a shiny item in his pocked and then throwing it into the burn.

On Friday, Devenney’s lawyer, Judith Reid, said her client had been in custody from July 1, 2019 until March 3 this year on an unrelated matter.

Ms Reid told the court: “He has served a fairly considerable period in custody and has no desire to return to Polmont whatsoever.

“He hated being away from his family. In the short time since he has been out, there has been no further offending, and he has come off cannabis in the hope that he can stay on the straight and narrow.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry said: “I’m not going to send him to prison today. But if he does not comply with a community-based disposal, I won’t be stopping to think.”

Addressing Devenney directly, the sheriff said: “I suspect you came here today in the expectation you would be going to prison.

“The offences you committed on March 25 last year were clearly serious, and clearly justify a custodial sentence.

“You still have a lot of growing up and maturing to do.

“I understand there are difficult circumstances in your own background but those do not excuse the carrying of a knife.

“You have spent a significant period in custody; you say you have learned from that experience and do not want to repeat it.

“But there is a serious amount of punishment coming your way in a different form.”

Devenney was handed a community payback order (CPO) which will see him supervised by a social worker until March 2022.

He will be required to attend and accept addiction treatment and counselling as directed by his supervisor. He was also ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work within 12 months, and was hit with a four-month ‘restriction of liberty order’ confining him to his home every night from 7pm to 7am for the next four months.

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Sheriff Hendry added: “If you do not do what you’ve been told to do – if you do not do the work, or a whole list of other possibilities – you’ll find yourself in breach of the order.

“I will remember your case. If you do not comply with the opportunity you are being given, I’ll simply send you to prison.”

Devenney’s CPO will be reviewed on May 20.