A BONHILL man has been spared a prison term for an angry outburst in a corridor within Dumbarton Sheriff Court.

John Murphy told the officer to “get out ma f****** face” in the outburst within the court building on August 22, 2017.

Murphy’s behaviour threatened to disrupt proceedings in the High Court, which was sitting in the Church Street complex at the time.

The 49-year-old returned to the sheriff court buildings on Thursday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive fashion.

At that hearing the court heard complaints were made about noise in a corridor outside two courtrooms.

Murphy was asked twice to stop, but repeatedly shouted to police in front of members of the public.

On his previous court appearance, Murphy’s then solicitor said his client had issues with the way police had handled the disturbance.

The court had been due to host a “proof in mitigation” hearing into Murphy’s conduct, but when he stepped into the dock on August 30, his solicitor, Donna Maitland, who had not represented Murphy on the last occasion, said he was no longer insisting on the full facts being stated in open court.

Ms Maitland said: “I have given him certain instructions to keep his mouth shut while he’s in the dock.

“He had cause to bring himself to the attention of police and the police officer had cause to deal with him in the manner he was dealt with.”

Sheriff William Gallacher said: “Does he accept being asked to be quiet while the High Court is in session in this court, and that his reaction was to shout and swear and say ‘get out ma f****** face?’

“The officer has to be in his face. He impacted on the course of justice in this building. I told him on the last occasion that I was treating this very seriously indeed.”

Ms Maitland said: “He didn’t take the advice he was given, and that’s why we are here today.”

On three occasions during his appearance on Thursday, Murphy spoke up, despite being warned by his lawyer not to do so, prompting Ms Maitland to bury her face in her hands.

Ms Maitland said Murphy was “remorseful” for his actions Sheriff Gallacher placed Murphy on a community payback order with 12 months of social work supervision, and ordered him to do 100 hours’ unpaid work.

As Murphy left, the sheriff said he hoped not to see him in court again – to which Murphy replied: “I hope not to see you either.”