A GREENOCK man who left his ex-partner scarred for life by ripping her hand open with a key has been put on jail alert.

Brian McGhee, 49, was on deferred sentence to be of good behaviour at the time of the incident which sparked an 999 emergency call.

Now he has been placed on supervision and ordered to do a spell of unpaid work after injuring the woman to the extent that she required five stitches to her wound.

McGhee, of Lyle Street, had dismissed the incident as a 'freak accident' when he spoke to police.

But Sheriff Linda Smith has warned him that he will be sent to prison if he fails to adhere to his community payback order.

Prosecutor David Glancy told a previous calling of the case: "The accused and the complainer have what can euphemistically be described as a volatile relationship.

"He grabbed her hand, there was a struggle and he pulled the keys from her hand and this is what caused the injury."

McGhee dropped a set of keys in the dock as his lawyer, Aidan Gallagher, prepared to speak on his behalf.

Mr Gallagher said: "There was an on-off relationship for five years which is now at an end, and he accepts that.

"His ex-partner was leaving his property with his wallet and keys and he sought to retrieve them.

"Both have been complainers and accused in the past."

McGhee has been placed on supervision for a year and told to complete 60 hours of unpaid work within six months.

Sentence was deferred on a heroin possession charge until a progress review hearing set for September 25.