A MAN who carried out a series of domestic assaults during a seven-year timeframe has narrowly avoided jail.

James Rickwood was told that a primary reason for the decision was that he'd be unable to work and provide child maintenance money if he were locked up.

The 39-year-old has a previous conviction for violence and a separate one for domestic aggression towards another woman.

Greenock Sheriff Court was told that the dad-of-two has been barred from seeing his daughter from the earlier relationship since 2011.

Rickwood maintained his innocence regarding the latest assaults he inflicted but a sheriff found him guilty following a trial.

The self-employed tradesman spat on his ex's face, hurled a cup of hot coffee directly at her and twice physically assaulted her to injury between Christmas Eve 2008 and Hogmanay 2014.

Rickwood's lawyer told a sentencing hearing: "There is a comprehensive background report and it will come as no real surprise in terms of his attitude that he maintains his position, but of course he accepts the verdict."

The solicitor added: "The matters he has been convicted of, on any view, are grave, however, there is an alternative to custody here."

Sheriff Derek Hamilton told Rickwood, of Langhouse Avenue in Inverkip: "What is concerning here is that the incidents have occurred over a lengthy period.

"You are easily within the custody threshold, but you have indicated that custody would have the potential for you to lose your income and your ability to pay child maintenance.

"I am prepared to offer a non-custodial sentence but there will be a number of elements to it."

Rickwood was placed on an electronic tag to remain within his home between 7pm and 7am each day for four months and he must complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

He will also be under the supervision of social workers for 18 months.

Sheriff Hamilton said: "This really is an alternative to custody because this offending was over such a period."