A CLYDEBANK man who carried out a vicious attack on his former partner has avoided a prison sentence.

Robert Sinclair, 61, pleaded guilty to assaulting his then girlfriend to her severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

At his home in Burns Street, Sinclair seized the woman by her hair, repeatedly punched her on the head, and kneeled on her body, causing her to lose conciousness.

Last Tuesday, Sinclair appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court to be sentenced.

The court heard that at the time of the attack, Sinclair and the victim had been in a relationship for a year, but did not live together.

Fiscal depute Meghan Glancey said: “The accused and the complainer had been out drinking and returned to the accused’s home address.

“At 2.30am he started an argument about not spending enough time together.

“The victim got up, tripped on some clothing and fell. She tried to stand up but the accused grabbed her by the hair and punched her face a number of times.

“He then placed his knee across her chest and applied pressure.

“The next thing she remembers is waking up in the accused’s bed the following morning, fully clothed, with her shoes and jacket still on.

“The accused told her he was sorry and left to go to work.

“The victim made her way back home and tried to contact her GP but it was a public holiday.

“She took some painkillers and went to bed.”

Ms Glancey went on to say that once the woman went to her work, she told colleagues that she had fallen.

“She attended at the Vale of Leven Hospital for an X-ray,” the court heard.

“The victim suffered from nerve damage to her face resulting in her having no feeling on the left-hand side.

“The accused sent numerous text messages stating that he was apologetic but said an injury to her eye was caused when she had fallen.

“She messaged him saying that her family wanted him to be charged and he replied saying he deserved it.

“He offered to give her money for loss of earnings, but she replied saying that was the last thing on her mind.

“She contacted police to report the incident and the accused voluntarily attended at Clydebank police office.”

Defence solicitor Judith Reid said her client couldn’t remember much after the fall due to alcohol consumption but was happy to accept the fiscal’s narration.

Ms Reid added: “He’s expressed empathy to the complainer, has a strong work ethic and has been assessed as not being a significant risk to the community.”

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Sheriff Maxwell Hendry decided against sending Sinclair to jail, but made him subject of a community payback order.

He addressed the accused and said: “If you had a record of violence in the past I would be sending you to prison.”

Sinclair will be required to be under supervision for 18 months, attend alcohol counselling, carry out 250 hours of unpaid work within the community, pay £1,000 compensation to his victim, and ordered not to communicate with her for three years.