A MAN who threatened his partner with violence in a Dumbarton street has been likened to the Scarlet Pimpernel by an unimpressed sheriff.

Archibald MacDonald was warned he’ll go to prison if he continues to thumb his nose at a court’s instruction for him to attend appointments with social workers.

The 26-year-old had his sentence deferred for a background social work report after he admitted making a 999 call to police in Bontine Avenue on February 25, and then shouting, swearing and making threats to his partner.

At Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday, MacDonald’s lawyer, Edel McGinty, said her client was completing a community payback order (CPO) in the Peterhead area, but had “done himself absolutely no favours” by failing to comply with the order to attend for a meeting with a West Dunbartonshire Council social worker.

MacDonald was granted bail when he appeared in court the day after the Bontine Avenue incident, but then made his situation worse when he failed to show up at a court hearing in Dumbarton on April 1.

Stating that MacDonald had 22 hours of unpaid work left on the Peterhead order, Ms McGinty said: “He has just delayed matters further. He has tried to cause the least disruption possible to everybody but is just making things more difficult.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry said: “He has appeared before me before, and we’ve had exactly the same difficulty – he’s like the Scarlet Pimpernel.

“My mind was turning this morning to remanding him into custody, because that’s the one place the social work department will certainly be able to find him.”

Addressing MacDonald directly, the sheriff said: “You have come very close to spending the next few weeks in prison.

“You’re on bail. It’s a condition of being on bail that you comply fully with the preparation of these reports. It’s also a condition of bail that you notify the court within seven days of any change in your address.

“If there is no report available on the next occasion, and that is in any way attributable to you, you will be remanded in custody.”

The Scarlet Pimpernel was the title character in an early 20th century play and adventure novel, written by Baroness Emma Orczy.

The character Sir Percy Blakeney – an Englishman who led a double life as the secret Pimpernel, rescuing French aristocrats threatened with the guillotine – said: “We seek him here, we seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven, or is he in hell? That damned, elusive Pimpernel!”

Sentence on MacDonald was further deferred until September 20.