A KNIFE offender who blatantly flouted a community payback order has been spared jail.

Peter McCullagh had been given an 18-month alcohol treatment and supervision directive last June.

But the 49-year-old — who was carrying a lock-back knife in the street at 1am — hasn't done any of it.

McCullagh was drunk when police approached him on Greenock's Belville Street and recovered the blade.

The officers' attention was initially drawn to a larger pointed object protruding from a rear pocket, which turned out to be a TV aerial.

Prosecutor Lindy Scaife told the sheriff court: "The police required to attend regarding another matter.

"The accused was standing outside, clearly under the influence of alcohol.

"A red-handled lock-back knife was recovered from him."

Dad-of-two McCullagh was given the non-work community order after pleading guilty to the knife offence on the day he was due to stand trial last year.

Sheriff Michael Higgins told him that he would impose a fresh non-custodial sentence but warned him: "This is a turning point for you."

The sheriff said: "You were already offered professional assistance and you didn't take it up.

"If you do not take it this time you can reasonably expect that you won't get a third chance."

As a now direct alternative to a prison term, McCullagh, of Belville Street, must undergo alcohol treatment for 18 months and be under social work supervision during this time.