Man hit woman in face with hammer

PIC IAN RUTHERFORD
PIC IAN RUTHERFORD

A man who hit a woman in the face with a hammer after a comment was made over his still-born baby, has narrowly escaped a jail sentence.

Jason Butler (30), of Methil, previously admitted that on November 17 last year at Gallacher Avenue, Leven, he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing, repeatedly made threats of violence and repeatedly brandished a hammer and a bottle.

He also admitted he assaulted a female by striking her on the face with the hammer, knocking her glasses from her face, to her injury.

Dunfermline sheriff court was told that after an argument at the party, Butler picked up a claw hammer and swung the hammer about in one hand and a bottle in the other.

A 20-year-old woman was struck in the face with the hammer.

She sustained a cut, was crying and had to go to hospital to have stitches put in her wound.

Defence solicitor Peter Mullin said of his client: “He accepts this is a serious matter and it appears to be completely out of character for him.

“His position is the complainer said something incredibly provocative. It was two weeks since his baby was still-born and a comment was made that she was happy this had happened.

“At that time he was not coping well and was drinking heavily. The comment made was an upsetting one made at an upsetting time.

“He’s had an exceptionally difficult year and may still have some unresolved issues regarding the tragic death of his baby.”

The court was told that Butler is already on a community payback order.

Sheriff Charles MacNair told Butler: “Whatever may have been said by one of the girls that was no justification for your actions.

“It’s only your lack of any previous offence of violence that keeps you out of prison today.”

Instead, he imposed a community payback order with 200 hours of unpaid work, £700 compensation and a four-month restriction of liberty order.