A GALASHIELS man who assaulted a man and a woman in the town centre has avoided a custodial sentence at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

Twenty-three-year-old Louis Heatlie pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman to her injury in the High Street on October 18 last year and also assaulting a man shortly afterwards.

Fiona Hamilton, prosecuting, said the man and woman came across a group of people at around 1am and Heatlie was told to calm down when an altercation got under way.

She continued: "The accused then used his right hand to punch the woman on the left hand side of the face which caused her to fall to the ground.

"She suffered an eye injury and a scrape to the elbow.

"The accused seemed to walk away but turned back and pulled a key from his pocket and walked towards the man.

"He pushed the man on the chest causing him to fall to the ground. He then used the key to drag it against the man's throat and then punched him to the side of the face.

"The accused then left the area and was later traced by officers and he made no reply to caution and charge."

Defence lawyer Stephanie Clinkscale said there were alternatives to custody in her opinion providing a letter from Heatlie's employer and also pointed out her client and his partner were expecting a child in January.

She explained the offence happened when Heatlie was drinking too much alcohol after a previous relationship ended.

Sheriff Kenneth McIver told Heatlie he was now 23 and needed to take responsibility for his actions.

He added: "If you get involved in crime like again you will go to jhail. This is your last chance."

He imposed a Community Pay Back Order with 200 hours unpaid work and told Heatlie to pay a total of £300 compensation to the two assault victims.