A VALE man who carried out a brutal assault on a fellow train passenger has been given a second chance to face up to what he did.

A court heard that James Monaghan had tried to "downplay" the violent incident, which happened on a journey between Dumbarton and Balloch, during an interview with a social worker.

The 65-year-old was due to be sentenced at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Thursday after admitting leaving his victim badly hurt, permanently disfigured and permanently impaired.

Monaghan, of the Argyll Estate in Alexandria, had pleaded guilty in November to seizing the other man by the arm on December 2, 2018, repeatedly twisting his arm around a handrail, and repeatedly punching and kicking him on the head and body while keeping his arm restrained.

That hearing, at which CCTV footage of the incident was played, heard that Monaghan had seen the other man holding a knife – but also that the victim of the assault, who was said to have been drinking beforehand, had been using the item, described as a "multi-tool device", to prepare a snack.

November's hearing had been told that Monaghan got angry after his victim placed an empty Red Bull drinks can on the seat opposite him.

Fiscal depute Kevin Doherty said Monaghan had prevented the other man leaving the train at Dalreoch station, and had then punched his victim 10 times to the right eye and right jaw, kicked him in the face with force, and kneed him in the eye and jaw area as the man cowered down to protect himself.

Monaghan also twisted his victim's arm around a handrail "in an unnatural position", leaving the man screaming out in pain.

Only after taking a statement from the victim and watching CCTV footage did police go in search of Monaghan, who was eventually cautioned and charged a month after the incident.

In separate court proceedings, the victim of the attack was sentenced to an unpaid work punishment and supervision by social workers in December for possession of a bladed weapon in a public place.

Sentence on Monaghan had been deferred until Thursday to allow a social worker time to prepare a background report.

Defence lawyer Stephen McGuire said: "I think it's fair to acknowledge, when reading his account [in the background report], that it seeks to downplay what happened to a degree."

Sheriff Frances McCartney replied: "Based on this report, I'm not sure I would be persuaded that there is an alternative to a custodial sentence."

Mr McGuire said: "When the incident took place, his perception of events went down a particular route; he was in no doubt when he left the train that he had done a good job in quelling a situation where someone was holding a knife.

"Train staff and the police didn't take much interest in him; he genuinely felt a situation had arisen which he had dealt with in a proper fashion.

"That remained his perception until he saw the video. I viewed it with him, and his wife, and both were shocked at what they saw."

Sheriff McCartney said: "If there is to be an alternative to a custodial sentence, supervision [by social workers] would need to be part of that, and the social work department would neeed a proper understanding of what supervision is required.

"His saving grace, if I can put it like that, is that his record is minimal. But I need to have regard to what he says about the offence to social workers, and there is little focus for supervision based on what he said to the author of the report.

"I wonder whether we should call for a supplementary report, and he should think long and hard to remind himself of what it was he pled guilty to."