A PEST husband who lives next door to his wife harassed her in the street for money — then falsely reported her for child neglect after she refused.

Thomas McKendrick drunkenly walked up behind his spouse in the middle of the afternoon on Inverkip Road and began to plead for cash.

The 45-year-old later used his mobile phone to contact police with spurious allegations that she had assaulted a child and was neglecting the youngster.

Prosecutor Lindy Scaife told Greenock Sheriff Court: "He began to ask for money, the complainer noted that he was under the influence and refused.

"She asked him to go away and he became aggressive.

"The complainer told the accused that she was calling the police, hoping that this would make him go away."

The court heard that McKendrick later turned up at his wife's door at Ravenscraig Court and began shouting, swearing and hurling vile insults at her through the letterbox.

Fiscal depute Ms Scaife said: "Police arrived as saw him in the common close.

"There had been a phone call made regarding concerns of neglect and an allegation that a child had been assaulted, and that call was made by the accused.

"Officers asked him about it and he initially denied it, then admitted he'd made the call."

Just a day after being allowed bail on the matter on July 4 and ordered to stay away from his wife, McKendrick was found in her flat by police.

He pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and making allegations without reasonable foundation.

The court heard that McKendrick has a previous conviction in England for importing Class A drugs, and was given a ten-year prison sentence.

Defence lawyer David Tod said: "His bail address is across the corridor from his partner in a multi-storey block of flats.

"To described Mrs McKendrick as a formidable woman would not do her a disservice.

"She is chair of the tenants and residents committee currently arguing with River Clyde Homes for CCTV to ensure that people can't deal drugs.

"There is no social work involvement with the family."

Mr Tod added: "If he keeps going the way he did for a short period he is not going to have a marriage.

"Mrs McKendrick finds him annoying an irritating when he is under the influence of drugs.

"I canvassed the possibility of a restriction of liberty order with her and her response to that was, 'Does that mean I can't put him out?"

Sheriff Derek Hamilton placed McKendrick under supervision for 12 months as an alternative to prison.

He deferred sentence until next January on the bail breach matter for McKendrick to be of good behaviour.