A MAN who turned up at his ex’s home in Alexandria and began banging on her front door with a hammer has been spared a prison sentence.

James Forbes took the tool from a shed in the garden of the woman’s home while he was heavily drunk, and repeatedly sent her text messages and tried to phone her, before hammering repeatedly on the front door of the property.

The 42-year-old was sentenced at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on November 21 after pleading guilty to a charge of threatening or abusive behaviour towards his ex at the property in Main Street on August 18.

Colin Wilson, prosecuting, explained: “At 9.30pm witnesses were at home asleep and the property was secured. At 10.20pm they were awoken by text messages and seven missed calls on a mobile phone.

“They saw a light in the garden and looked out and saw the accused at the garden shed in possession of a hammer which had come from the shed.

“He made his way to the close and repeatedly banged on the front door with the weapon.

“Police were called and they attended immediately. They saw Forbes on the floor in the close with a wooden handled hammer on his lap.”

Defence lawyer Gail Campbell told the court: “He had been in a relationship with the woman inside the house.

“He fully accepts he was heavily under the influence of drink and that he was sending text messages and attempting to get into the property.

“He accepts this was a very serious charge. He has apologised to the woman and understands his actions must have been very distressing.

“He also fully accepts that he was not residing at that address at the time. He simply cannot behave like this.

“He understands that if he gets a non-custodial sentence it will be a direct alternative to custody.”

Sheriff Simon Pender told Forbes, who is in full-time employment: “By a very narrow margin I am prepared to deal with this by way of a non-custodial sentence.”

Forbes, of Kennishead Avenue, Glasgow, was put on a community payback order which will see him supervised by social workers until November 2020. He was also ordered to attend group work sessions for people convicted of domestic abuse.

The sheriff also told Forbes to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work within 12 months and put him on an electronic tag which will confine him to his home each night from 10am until 6pm for three months.