A FORMER Greenock community centre manager who sent his ex-partner 'despicable' text messages has been ordered to pay compensation to the victim.

Reid McLaughlin bombarded the woman with vile insults — including a claim she had a sexually transmitted infection — over a near month-long period.

McLaughlin, 33, accused the woman of having genital herpes and branded a man she had befriended a 'beast'.

As well as having to stump up £200 in compensation for his vile insults, which ran from December 8 in 2019 to January 4 last year, he must also complete 180 hours of unpaid work.

McLaughlin's lawyer, Aidan Gallagher, told a sentencing hearing at the sheriff court: "There is regret, he is genuinely sorry for the conduct and language he used towards his former partner.

"Mr McLaughlin did hold a responsible job but mental health issues led to the loss of his employment."

The court heard previously that McLaughlin had also branded his ex an 'absolute midden', a 'total dafty' and told her: "Get yourself checked out below."

In one message, he stated: "Every sex offender in Inverclyde will be queuing up for a shot of you."

Replying to McLaughlin before she eventually blocked him from her phone and contacted police, the woman told him that he made her 'sick to her stomach', the court was told.

Solicitor Mr Gallagher said: "This conviction is likely to cause him difficulty in returning to work.

"He had in the past been employed by the council as a manager in a community centre.

"This conviction will be there for future employers to see."

Sheriff Joseph Hughes told McLaughlin: "I have considered very carefully the nature of the charge you pled guilty to.

"The behaviour you subjected your ex-partner to was despicable and disgusting."

As well as the compensation and unpaid work, McLaughlin, of Cathcart Street, will also be subject to social work supervision for 18 months.