A MAN who attacked his partner at a hotel in Arrochar has been given the lightest possible punishment by a court.

Neil Spiers, 23, of Lamberton Court in Pencaitland, East Lothian, punched the woman on the head, causing to her to fall to the ground, and then put his hands on her neck, in the attack at the Arrochar Hotel on October 16.

Spiers pleaded guilty to the assault when he appeared from custody at Dumbarton Sheriff Court the day after the incident, when he had his sentence deferred for him to be of good behaviour.

READ MORE: Court's 'last chance' for man over Helensburgh abuse case

He returned to the same court, this time under his own steam, for a sentencing hearing on January 17.

Defence lawyer Stephen McGuire said: “A good behaviour report on him is clear.

“He is no longer in a relationship with the complainer, though they remain friends.

“They were back together for a while, but decided last week that they would no longer continue with the relationship.”

READ MORE: Helensburgh flat thief is praised by sheriff at court hearing

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry told Spiers: “You recognised that the way you behaved was not only morally entirely out of order, it was criminal.

“However, you pled guilty at the earliest opportunity, and you have done what the court required of you.

"On what is very likely to be a once and once only basis, I’m prepared to admonish you today.”

An admonition means there is no punishment element to the sentence, making it effectively a legal ‘slap on the wrists’, though it does give the offender a criminal record.

READ MORE: Check out the latest news headlines from around Helensburgh and Lomond here