A HELENSBURGH thug who repeatedly punched his father after grabbing hold of him at his home in the town now has four separate convictions for assault against members of his family, a court has heard.

Martin Ross, of Old Luss Road, attacked his father at the property in nearby Kirkmichael Road on July 18 last year.

The 27-year-old appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday for sentencing, having earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of assault.

Ross had originally been accused of punching his father on the head as well as the body and of struggling violently with him, but a plea of guilty to the less serious accusation was accepted by the Crown.

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Fiscal depute Meghan Glancey told the court: “At around eight o’clock in the evening, the accused turned up at his dad’s home under the influence of alcohol.

“An argument ensued between them, resulting in the accused grabbing his father by the shirt and trying to push him away.

“There was then a coming-together between them, during which the accused pushed his dad on the chest and proceeded to punch him repeatedly with both hands.

“Police were contacted and attended the locus, but the accused had left by this time.

“He was traced the next day and was cautioned and charged, and made no reply.”

Sentence on Ross had been deferred until Friday’s hearing to allow social workers time to prepare a background report on him.

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Defence solicitor Judith Reid said of Ross: “He seems to have been in an extremely bad place, but he has done pretty much everything he can to get out of that place.

“The relationship with his father was not good following this incident, but that relationship seems now to be a positive one.

“He acknowledges that the state he was in at the time would have been extremely alarming and upsetting to those close to him.

“He has had little to drink, and has not taken drugs, since, and clearly seems to be moving in the right direction.

“It is accepted that there is a record of fairly appalling behaviour. While he appears to be doing well now, he accepts that if he were to be tempted to go back into drug use or to abuse alcohol, he could use social work supervision as a crutch.”

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Sheriff John Hamilton told Ross: “A concerning line that sticks out at me from the social work report is the fact that you are 27, and you have a significant history of offending behaviour.

“Your record includes six convictions for assault, four of them against members of your family.

“But maybe things have now changed.”

Ross was handed a community payback order under which he will be supervised by social workers for 12 months; he must also do 200 hours of unpaid work by June next year.

Ordering him to come back to court in January for a review of the order, Sheriff Hamilton added: “I’m concerned about your engagement and your ability to address your issues.”

Ross was told that in the event of his failing to comply with the order, other possible sentences “must include custody”.

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