A BUSINESSMAN who attacked a man outside a bowling club after a birthday party in Garelochhead has been spared a jail sentence.

George Owens, 29, of Clachan Road, Rosneath, attacked his victim by butting him on the head to his injury and causing him to fall to the ground.

The attack happened on March 11, this year, at Feorlin Way, Garelochhead.

Owens pleaded guilty to the attack when he appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court.

Prosecutor Emma Thomson said: "He had been attending a 30th birthday party at a bowling club. It was just after midnight. His victim had also been socialising at this bowling club within the same room. Last orders had been called.

"Outside they got into general conversation then Owens went up to the man and head-butted him. He caused an injury to the man's lower lip and he began to spit up blood.

"His lower lip then began to bleed heavily and actually caused a large pool of blood.

"Owens got into a taxi and left. The taxi driver noticed that Owens had blood on his face."

An ambulance was called for Owens' victim, who was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley for treatment in the form of four external sutures and one internal one before being discharged.

Police were also called to the scene of the incident.

Ms Thomson continued: "Police managed to trace the taxi driver and on March 16, Owens attended at Clydebank Police officer by prior arrangement. He was cautioned and charged, arrested and made no comment other than saying he was acting in the defence of his girlfriend."

Defence lawyer Douglas Thomson said: "He claims the man had assaulted his girlfriend and had made unwanted advances towards her. He accepts he lost his tempter and words were exchanged.

"He has a good work history and is in a stable relationship. He works right across the Argyll and Bute area in a senior position. He has significant work commitments and a significant monetary penalty might be appropriate."

Sheriff Simon Pender told Owens: "Given the nature of the assault a fine would not be appropriate. The only way I can deal with this is by a direct alternative to custody."

Owens was put on a community payback order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, which was reduced from 300 hours because of his early guilty plea. He was told to carry out the work within 12 months.