A MAN has dodged jail despite numerous domestic assaults on a woman more than half his age.

Colin Ritchie of Bentick Road, Troon, punched his ex-partner on the face on several occasions as well as launching a tin of tuna at her which struck her head.

The 51-year-old’s victim, who is in her early 20s, is diabetic and was suffering from low blood sugar when he made her fall down a flight of stairs before kicking her on the stomach at the bottom. The bully was seen sniggering to himself after the attack.

Fiscal Depute Laurin Campbell told the court: “They were at a pub where they consumed alcohol. He engaged in a verbal altercation during which time the accused became threatening.”

Ritchie told the woman “you’re the biggest wh**e in Troon” before ordering her to get her stuff and assaulting her.

“She proceeded to gather her possessions and took them downstairs.

“The accused had a tin of tuna, held it high and threw it in the direction of the complainer. This hit her head. He then punched the complainer on the chin with his clenched fist.

“The complainer then attempted to leave. As she was doing so, she was followed to the landing area outside the address where he tried to grab her. She tried to get him off by raising her arms and the pair engaged in scuffle which resulted in both falling down a flight of stairs.

“The accused then raised himself to his feet with the complainer still on the ground, kicked her in the stomach.A neighbour observed him standing over her and saw him sniggering and laughing at the time.”

The woman was taken to Ayr Hospital as a precaution as she is a diabetic and her blood sugars were low at the time.

Weeks later, Ritchie attacked the woman again at his home after refusing to let her leave his house

Ritchie’s defence counsel Derek Pettigrew told the court: “He’s 51 years of age, his last assault was in 2012 and wasn’t domestic. All three dealings are with the same complainer and did not happen over a long period of time.

“None of this does him any favours. I don’t think he’s an experienced criminal. He has had experience of court obviously.

“It’s clear that Mr Ritchie has a problem with alcohol that needs addressed promptly.”

He was spared a jail term but Sheriff Liam Murphy placed Ritchie on a Community Payback Order with 120 hours of unpaid work and a curfew to remain indoors between 9pm and 5am every night.

He must also attend a programme that aims to help domestic offenders.

Sheriff Murphy told him: “Given the nature of these offences and timescale over the incidents occurred it has brought you to the cusp of a custodial sentence.”