A THUG who meted out violent attacks on a woman during a period spanning three years and repeatedly smashed her head against a wall in one of a catalogue of assaults has been spared prison at Greenock Sheriff Court.

Paul Molloy also repeatedly punched his victim on the head and even stood over her with a crowbar amid a campaign of domestic abuse between November 2019 and May 2021.

Molloy, 34, assaulted the woman at an address in Gourock and elsewhere and also questioned her use of social media and referred to her using derogatory and abusive terms on several occasions.

The physical assaults included one instance when he pushed her on the body, causing her to fall and strike her head on the ground.

In another attack, he seized hold of the woman's hair and repeatedly struck her head against a wall.

Greenock Telegraph: Greenock Sheriff CourtGreenock Sheriff Court (Image: Newsquest)

Molloy, of Trafalgar Street, accused the woman of infidelity on another occasion and stood over her while in possession of a crowbar.

In a separate incident, he repeatedly attempted to access a social media account belonging to her and threw her mobile phone on the floor, causing it to break.

He then seized hold of the woman’s throat and pinned her against a wall, before spitting on her head.

Molloy was also found guilty of preventing the complainer from leaving a property with her young son in an incident which saw him repeatedly punch her to the head, causing her to fall to the ground to her injury.

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The charge detailed a further incident in which he spat on the woman’s elder son, then aged 18, and threatened him with violence.

Molloy's sentencing had been delayed to allow for the preparation of social work reports, which noted that he accepted ‘partial responsibility’ for his violence.

Sheriff Nicola Patrick, who found Molloy guilty at trial, told him that despite viewing his offending to be beyond the threshold for a custodial sentence, she would impose a community payback order as a direct alternative.Greenock Telegraph:

Defence solicitor Aidan Gallagher told a sentencing hearing: “One cannot condone what he has been convicted of at all.

“I recognise on behalf of the complainer the effect that this type of behaviour will have had on her.

“It’s a situation where the relationship is at an end. There will be no reconciliation.

“At the time, Mr Molloy had a number of issues. Alcohol was clearly a problem.

“He had mental health issues - slightly exacerbated by the overindulgence in alcohol.”

Sheriff Patrick highlighted that there was a ‘degree of minimisation’ on Molloy’s part within the background report, adding that parts of the evidence in the trial were 'overwhelming'.

Molloy has been ordered to complete a total of 250 hours of unpaid work within 12 months and will remain under supervision for a period of two years.

A non-harassment order was also imposed, with Molloy being warned not to approach or contact his victim for two years.