A BONHILL teenager assaulted three police officers in separate incidents in Dumbarton and the Vale in the space of nine months.

Ross Mathers repeatedly spat at a police officer at Renton railway station in May of last year.

The Ladyton resident then spat on another cop after being detained following an incident in Levengrove Park in January – and kicked a third officer on the body a month later after a disturbance in Dumbarton’s Knoxland Square.

But despite his violent and abusive behaviour, he was spared a prison sentence.

Mathers, who was aged just 16 at the time of the Renton station incident, had previously pleaded guilty to charges of threatening or abusive behaviour and police assault, but could not be named because he was under 18 at the time of his court appearance.

The lout appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday, seven days after his 18th birthday, for a review of a community payback order (CPO) which had been imposed for one of the other offences.

And at Friday’s hearing Mathers was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work for the Renton station incident.

On January 11, eight months after the incident in Renton, he shouted, swore, made threats of violence and behaved aggressively in Dumbarton’s Levengrove Park and while he was being taken by police from there to Clydebank’s police station.

After arriving at the police station later that day, he made more threats of violence, shouted and swore again, and made homophobic remarks – and assaulted a female police constable by spitting on her.

Three days after that incident he appeared in court in connection with the incident and was released on bail.

But then, on February 16, while he was still subject to the bail order he again behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting, swearing and threatening violence – this time at Knoxland Square in Dumbarton.

He also assaulted yet another police officer, this time by kicking him on the body.

Justice finally caught up with Mathers in March, when he was handed a community payback order for the January incident.

That order – which was reviewed at Friday’s hearing – put Mathers under social work supervision for two years, and saw him ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work within six months and hit with a three-month ‘restriction of liberty order’, which has since been completed.

Mathers’ lawyer, Tom Brown, told the review hearing that his client had “unfortunately” missed two appointments with social workers in June, and had been given a formal warning about his compliance as a result.

Mr Brown said: “Of course, he was also given a warning in court.

“He’s now doing the unpaid work, he’s attending a course, and he seems to have taken heed of the warning.”

Sheriff William Gallacher, who put Mathers on the CPO in March, replied: “I told Mr Mathers I would remember him – and I did.”

Turning to address Mathers directly, the sheriff said: “You’ve just got over the line – and I mean just.

“I’ll allow the principal order to continue, but you will know by now that if there are any failures, I won’t continue this.”

In addition to the 100 hours of work for the Renton incident, Mathers had his sentence for the Knoxland Square offences deferred further, again to run alongside the original CPO and for him to be of good behaviour.

He’ll return to court for a review of the orders in late October.