A 43-YEAR-OLD man who attacked a woman with a hatchet after spotting her with another man has narrowly avoided a jail sentence.

Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard Kevin Henderson had been helping his neighbour with her washing until she had a machine.

But, when he discovered she was with another man, he sent her an insulting text on February 26 and told her he was going to leave her belongings in the garden.

The next day he confronted the woman and the man at his home in Orchard Park, Kelso, where he continued to be abusive to her.

A scuffle ensued with Henderson striking both his neighbour and the other man with the hatchet – leaving the woman with soreness to her head, and the man with cuts to his neck and back.

Henderson pleaded guilty to two charges of assault, as well as sending the woman offensive text messages.

His solicitor, Mat Patrick, said his client has little memory of what happened that day as he had been taking valium.

Sheriff Peter Paterson gave Henderson a 12-month curfew, which means he must stay at home between 7pm and 7am, as a direct alternative to custody.

But a non-harassment order was not imposed after the sheriff was told the woman did not require one and there had been no further incidents during the past 11 months.