A MAN who spat on his wife and then struck her on the head with a multi-tool device in Rhu has been spared a jail sentence.

Stephen Niven carried out the attack at a house in the village on March 28.

Niven was convicted after a trial at Dumbarton Sheriff Court of shouting, threatening violence, spitting on a TV set and then spitting on his wife.

The court heard how he then began to throw various items of property around and threw a multi-tool instrument at his wife, which struck her on the head, before pushing her on the body.

Niven, of Davaar Drive, Kilmarnock, also assaulted an eight-year-old boy between February 14 and March 11 this year by seizing him by the body and throwing him against a door.

He additionally breached two bail conditions imposed on him on April 6 by failing to appear at the sheriff court on May 10 and by speaking to the boy in Pier Road in Rhu on May 15.

The bail order banned him from approaching both his wife and the boy and from entering Pier Road.

Following Niven’s conviction, his lawyer told a sentencing hearing at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday: “The relationship is over and divorce proceeding are ongoing.

“These offences were completely out of character.

“He works with an engineering company and his employers are aware of these offences.

“Supervision is entirely relevant and he has a clear focus. He has nothing else outstanding. These offences took place during the breakdown of his marriage.”

Sheriff Kevin Duffy said: “I have considered everything that has been said on your behalf and I have also taken account the absence of a record.”

Niven was put on a community payback order and will be supervised by social workers until October 2019. He must also do 120 hours of unpaid work.

The sheriff also handed Niven a two-year non-harassment order, banning him from approaching his wife or her address in Rhu.