A CUSTODY trial at Greenock Sheriff Court had to be abandoned after a knife offence accused man began shouting and swearing at his alleged victim.

Mark Derrick repeatedly called the woman a grossly offensive name and branded her a liar as she gave evidence against him.

Derrick, 29, then fired volleys of foul-mouthed abuse at a sheriff presiding over the case and had to be removed from the dock by custody officers.

Minutes later his lawyer, Edward Sweeney, withdrew from representing him in the wake of his outbursts — which are now under 'consideration' for further criminal proceedings.

Derrick's alleged victim has been given vulnerable witness status and was just a few minutes in to her evidence from behind screens when he erupted in anger.

He is on trial on a charge of threatening the woman and her mother with violence whilst in possession of a knife at her Greenock home on December 17 last year.

The witness, 32, had told the court that her relationship with Derrick ended last August but he would stay at her house on some occasions with regard to childcare.

She said she had returned to the property to collect an item she'd left behind after arranging to go Christmas shopping with her mother, to find that Derrick had not walked her dog as promised.

It was at this point of the court proceedings that Derrick, of Brae View, began shouting and swearing towards her from the dock.

He had already pleaded guilty to breaching a bail condition regarding another criminal matter by being at her house.

His not guilty plea to a charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, refusing to leave, shouting, swearing, holding a knife, striking it against a window and uttering threats has not been accepted by prosecutors.

Solicitor Mr Sweeney was replaced by Gerry Keenan.

Sheriff Andrew McIntyre discharged the trial and chose to recuse himself from presiding over the case.

Prosecutor John Penman confirmed to the court that the question of charging Derrick over his outburst from the dock was 'under consideration'.

The case is now due to start again before a different sheriff today.