A HAWICK man assaulted a man he claimed had attacked his mother, Jedburgh Sheriff Court has been told.

Thirty-eight-year-old Michael Carruthers, of Howdenbank, pleaded guilty to assaulting the man to his injury and permanent disfigurement in Duke Street, Hawick, on the afternoon of January 17.

Depute fiscal Drew Long said the complainer was working in Duke Street and went to his van to pick up some equipment around 12.30pm when he was approached by Carruthers.

He said: “He started remonstrating with him and accused him of having attacked his mother.

“This led to an argument and the accused took an item from the complainer’s hand which was a brush he was using during the course of his work.

“He took it from him, threw it away and then punched him on the face.

“The complainer then tripped and fell to the floor.

“While he was on the floor the accused punched him a number of times on the face.”

A passing member of the public shouted at Carruthers to stop and an ambulance was called as the complainer had suffered some injuries.

Mr Long added that the victim sustained a two-centimetre wound on the right cheek and it was recommended he attend Borders General Hospital for stitches.

Defence lawyer Mat Patrick pointed out his client was not a prolific offender saying it was only his second conviction in 13 years.

He said Carruthers was clearly struggling to control his emotions over the man’s relationship with his mother.

Mr Patrick recommended supervision as part of a community payback order to prevent a similar incident.

Sheriff Robert Fife said: “This was a highly unpleasant incident and the threshold for prison has been met. 

“But I am not going to send you to prison and will follow the recommendation in the background reports.”

An 18-month community payback order was imposed with supervision requirements and Carruthers was also told to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work over the course of 12 months.