A MAN who threatened civil service staff in Dumbarton in a series of offensive phone calls has been told to keep his nose clean for the next four months before being sentenced.

A court heard that John Reid lost his rag with workers at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service's national enquiry point in the town after being told that a drug dealer threatening his son with a knife was not going to be prosecuted.

Reid, 41, appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday for sentencing after admitting making a series of threatening calls to staff at the St Mary's Way office, just across the street from the court building, on February 26.

Reid, who has a previous conviction for serious assault, made grossly offensive, indecent or obscene comments to three different staff members before threatening to choke a member of the public.

Prosecutor Kara Watt told the court: "The witnesses were all fiscal's officers in Dumbarton.

"The first call was made to the office at 8.45am after the accused had received a letter from the procurator fiscal's office advising him that his son was no longer required to attend court as a witness in a case.

"The woman who answered explained that his son did not need to go to court.

"Reid became aggressive and told her 'I'm going to go round to him and end this once and for all – if you're not going to do anything about it I will take the law into my own hands'.

"The woman in the office tried to explain the circumstances and give him sensible advice.

"The accused was put on hold and transferred to a senior officer who spoke with the accused, but he continued with his aggressive behaviour.

"He repeatedly shouted 'I'm going to choke him' then stated 'see how he likes it when I choke him to death, he's not getting away with it'.

"He then told the woman that he was on his way to choke him right now. The call was terminated.

"He made a further call when a different woman answered and again he was acting in an aggressive manner. Police were contacted and he was arrested, cautioned and charged and made no reply."

Defence lawyer Lauren Kerr said: "He has three children, including a 15-year-old son, who was chased by a drug dealer and threatened with a knife.

"My client was undeniably upset when he received a letter telling him that the man was not going to be prosecuted. He became very angry about the matter.

"He accepts he should not have made the comments and his behaviour and language was over the score.

"He was at breaking point as he had gone through a difficult time in recent years, and this was the last straw.

"He was under considerable stress and strain. He is currently subject to a community payback order [CPO] in Aberdeen over an assault to severe injury."

Sheriff Simon Pender deferred sentence on Reid, of Hill of Menie, Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, to allow the CPO to continue and ordered him to be of good behaviour.

He was told to return to Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentence on February 13, 2019.

Bail was continued.