AN OLD Kilpatrick man and his partner spat in each other’s faces in a row outside a Dumbarton pub, a court has heard – but only he was charged.

David Gordon carried out the assault outside the Stag’s Head in Dumbarton Road on January 24.

The 51-year-old was already serving a community-based sentence for an unrelated offence when the incident happened – but despite that, he was spared any further punishment, at least for now.

Fiscal depute Joanne Gilmour told Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Thursday: “The accused and the complainer had been in a relationship since June 2016. 

“They had gone to the locus and an argument took place between them which resulted in the accused spitting in the complainer’s face.

“He then walked away. It was noted that the complainer followed the accused, and she then spat in his face in retaliation.”

Gordon’s partner contacted police, who attended his home address later that evening and took him to Clydebank police station.

When cautioned and charged, Ms Gilmour said, he replied: “I never done that – nope.”

Sheriff Simon Pender asked why the complainer had not been prosecuted for her actions, but Ms Gilmour said she was unable to comment on the decision made by the Crown.

Gordon’s solicitor, Brian McGuire, told the court his client had had “considerable difficulty with alcohol for some time”.

Mr McGuire said: “This relationship was characterised by alcohol involvement from both parties. It was always a relationship destined to end up in some kind of difficulty, given the part alcohol played in it.”

“This was an unpleasant offence – that is fully accepted.”

Mr McGuire said Gordon, of Thistleneuk, had been handed a community payback order on November 7 last year after pleading guilty to an unrelated charge.

That order included 12 months of supervision by social workers and a requirement to carry out unpaid community work.

Mr McGuire said Gordon’s social worker had decided the long-standing alcohol problem should be dealt with by his attending the Turnaround rehabilitation service, and that while Gordon remained in residential rehab at present, he was due to be released on April 24.

“The real test will come when he leaves Turnaround and goes back into the community,” Mr McGuire observed.

Asked by Sheriff Pender about the status of Gordon’s relationship with the woman involved in the pub incident, Mr McGuire said Gordon did not view it as ongoing.

“I’ve given him my view [on the relationship],” Mr McGuire added, “and if he chooses to follow that advice it may be in his interests.”

Mr McGuire asked the sheriff to consider deferring sentence for three months to monitor Gordon’s progress on his CPO and to see how he dealt with his alcohol problem on his return to the community.

“If he is alcohol-free he would then be able to undertake unpaid work,” Mr McGuire said.

Sheriff Pender agreed to go along with Mr McGuire’s suggestion – but noted with concern that Gordon’s criminal record stretches back some 20 years.

The sheriff said: “It’s getting very close to the stage where alternatives to custody simply will not be countenanced.

“If he has not complied, to the letter, then to jail he will go.”

Sentence was deferred for good behaviour until July 28.