AN Erskine man faces the prospect of being axed as a football coach after he was convicted of domestic abuse involving his wife.

Andrew McNeill appeared in court last week charged with assaulting Jane O’Hagan between New Year’s Day 2001 and December 31, 2002.

Court papers claimed he assaulted her in Tuthill Drive, Erskine, by throwing a pair of boots at her.

McNeill, of Sempill Avenue, was also accused of assaulting her by striking her on the face at the Tuthill Drive property between February 1, 2010, and March 31 that year.

When he appeared in the dock to go on trial over the claims, McNeill struck a deal with prosecutors which saw those charges dropped as he admitted a third charge.

He pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive way towards his wife by shouting, swearing and acting aggressively towards her between October 6, 2010, and May 31, 2011.

Procurator fiscal depute Frank Clarke said a neighbour regularly heard McNeill screaming at his wife.

Mr Clarke added: “He states he heard a regular phrase ‘I’m the f****** boss and I’m the f****** man of the house, I’ll do what I want.’

“The neighbour confirms he heard Miss O’Hagan upset and crying, which obviously shows the upset that such behaviour had on his wife.”

Defence solicitor Jonathan Manson asked for McNeill, a first offender, to be granted an absolute discharge – a disposal which means a person is not left with a criminal record, despite admitting criminal behaviour.

Mr Manson said: “They are now on amicable terms. This was seven or eight years ago and I am asking Your Lordship to consider granting an absolute discharge. He is currently unemployed and a conviction may have an affect on his chances of finding employment. He also coaches young children football and a conviction, even with an admonition, may cause him to lose that post.”

But Sheriff Tom McCartney ruled the matter was too serious to be dealt with by way of an absolute discharge.

As he told McNeill he would be admonished for his crimes – a disposal which means that, although he is given a criminal record, he receives no punishment – Sheriff McCartney said: “I do not consider the passage of time such that it presents an exceptional circumstance as would justify an absolute discharge.”

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