A CONVICTED stalker who bleated that he couldn't do unpaid work on 'health grounds' was drinking two bottles of strong wine a DAY.

William Richards' claim of being legitimately too unwell was instantly dismissed and he was told that he wouldn't have been able to function with that amount of alcohol.

Richards — who bombarded his ex with abusive messages and threatened to post naked photos of her online — has completed just 15 of 200 hours imposed on him last year.

Defence lawyer Charles Drummond told Greenock Sheriff Court that his client had submitted medical certificates for his absences.

But Sheriff Thomas Ward snapped back: "If he's drinking two bottles of strong wine a day he cannot function.

"I don't accept the medical grounds when he's drinking 14 bottles of wine every week.

"He's got to stop it, and one way of doing that is to send him to jail."

Sheriff Ward said: "He is a very fortunate man with the disposal he got, which was an alternative to custody."

The court was told previously how Richards, 32, sent 'disgusting' texts to the woman and also threatened a man with assault during a campaign of abuse last July and August.

Fiscal depute David Glancy said: "There was a loudspeaker call in front of the police so that officers could hear the shouting, swearing and ranting of the accused.

"Police went to his home and he was drunk."

Solicitor Mr Drummond told the court: "Mr Richards tells me that he has made efforts to cut down on drink."

Sheriff Ward ordered Richards, Paton Street, to return on July 31, adding: "I suggest by that date that there is something in writing that you have gone and done some work, unless there is a very, very good reason."