A SERIAL offender has narrowly avoided being sent back to prison after admitting carrying a knife.

Robert Bruce was caught with the blade on December 15 last year and appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court for sentencing on Thursday, January 24.

Bruce went to an address on Whins Road, Alloa, in possession of a knife and challenged the property's occupant to a fight.

He also shouted, swore and kicked a door there.

The 32-year-old's defence agent told the court that her client was "anxious" about his appearance because of a less than favourable criminal justice social work report.

She added that Bruce is currently on a community payback order (CPO) with a supervision requirement and was doing well on it, to the point that social workers were "disappointed" to see him given the progress he has been making.

The lawyer added: "On December 15 a number of factors contributed to the offence. He had just split up with his girlfriend. He accepts responsibility for the offence."

She continued to say that Bruce was a "regular offender" up until 2017.

The Advertiser reported in 2013 that Bruce was given unpaid work after smashing plates against a wall at his father's home.

Just a month later he was jailed after admitting turning from a good Samaritan to a "nasty aggressor".

He had stopped a fight outside Cram's Bar, but was caught with a punch in the melee and retaliated by repeatedly punching the man before kicking him on the head and body.

Bruce was jailed for 21 weeks for that offence.

More recently, he was placed on the sex offenders' register for six months in January of 2018 after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in Alloa by touching her bottom above her clothes.

For this latest knife offence, however, Sheriff David Mackie sentenced Bruce, of Arran Court, to 200 hours of unpaid work, reduced from the maximum 300 for his early guilty plea.