A ONE-LEGGED Johnstone man with a horrendous criminal record has been shown mercy by a judge after his latest offence – because his mum passed away on New Year’s Day.

Barry McInally, 29, has previously amassed 56 convictions for the likes of assault, drug offences and crimes involving weapons such as knives and an axe.

He had been celebrating New Year with his family at his home in Johnstone’s North Road but, tragically, his mum became ill and died.

McInally was informed of her death when he arrived at the police station to be detained for a separate matter.

He then lost the plot and lashed out at an officer but has been shown mercy as he grieves for his mum and was released on bail by a sheriff, allowing him to attend her funeral.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard that the news of his mum’s death led to McInally trying to bite PC Christopher Higgins on the body.

He was held in custody for two nights before appearing in the dock at court, where he struck a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to one charge in exchange for another being dropped.

McInally admitted assaulting PC Higgins in the execution of his duty by trying to bite him on the body, in breach of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.

A charge that he had behaved in a threatening or abusive manner, which was likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear or alarm, by shouting, swearing, acting in an aggressive manner, threatening violence, struggling with police and repeatedly striking his head against a police car during the journey from his home to the station was dropped.

Defence solicitor Waqqas Ashraf, of law firm McCusker, McElroy and Gallanagh, told the court: “He was arrested on New Year’s Day. He had been celebrating New Year with his family.

“When he arrived at the police station, he was told his mum had passed away unexpectedly.

“He is already on a [Community Payback] Order, is making good progress and I would ask for him to be released on bail.”

Two years ago, McInally lost a leg after being hit by a train during a visit to the seaside town of Ardrossan, in Ayrshire.

Paisley Sheriff Court had previously heard how, while under the influence of alcohol, he climbed over a barrier at a level crossing, with disastrous consequences.

He didn’t find out about the accident until a fortnight later, when he regained consciousness in hospital and was told surgeons had amputated one of his limbs.

After being told of the death of McInally’s mum during his latest court appearance, Sheriff James Spy decided to allow him his liberty.

Sheriff Spy told the accused he had been considering remanding him in custody but, given the “tragic circumstances,” would grant bail instead.

McInally is set to learn his fate next month, when he is due in court for a review of a Community Payback Order imposed for a previous crime.