A KNIFE-wielding thug who slashed a woman driver's tyres after staggering into the path of her car was jailed for 37 months last week.

Richard Beresford was high on heroin, Valium and alcohol at the time of the terrifying incident, Stirling Sheriff Court was told.

The 45-year-old walked straight in front of the 39-year-old woman's car on Devon Road, Alloa, without looking, which forced her to perform an emergency stop to avoid a collision.

Both Beresford and the driver were "shocked" by what had happened, and the driver wound down her window and shouted: "What are you doing?"

Beresford responded by kicking the front bumper, and shouting "Claim that on your f***ing insurance" before walking off.

Prosecutor Alex Piper said the woman, who was alone in her car, drove alongside him, taking photographs of him with her mobile phone to give to the police so as to identify him.

After taking the photographs, she stopped to turn, but before she could drive off, Beresford, who turned out in the pictures to be holding a five inch lock knife with a 3.5 inch blade, walked round to the nearside of her car.

Miss Piper said: "The driver immediately received a tyre pressure warning on the dashboard of the car."

Beresford made off, and the woman driver got out of her car to watch where he was going.

Miss Piper said: "She followed him on foot and saw him escape over a wall.

"She returned to her car to find both her nearside tyres were flat."

The court heard the incident, which occurred at about 5.10pm on December 9 last year ,was witnessed by another driver, who saw Beresford "in possession of a knife, which he was using to puncture the tyres of the car".

The other driver helped the woman to move her car to the kerb, and phoned police.

Officers found an inch-long slash on both of the nearside tyres.

Beresford was detained nearby and taken in the back of a police van to Falkirk Police Station, where he was described as "obstructive and volatile" and had to be placed in a cell by a three-man team.

Later, when he appeared to have calmed down, he was offered a cup of tea.

He accepted, and the hot beverage was passed to him through the hatch of his cell by the on duty constable.

Miss Piper said: "The accused took possession of it, and then threw it back through the hatch at the officer, where the contents landed on his torso."

The Alloa man, whose address was given on court papers as Barlinnie Prison, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, possession of a knife, and police assault.

His solicitor, Claire McCarron, said her client had consumed "a cocktail of heroin, Valium and alcohol" before the incident.

She told the court : "When he stepped into the road he was quite unaware of his surroundings.

"This incident has been a wake-up call for him. He recognises that custody is necessary.

"He has an extensive record. The court will be particularly concerned with the number of offences involving bladed articles."

Sheriff Wyllie Robertson backdated the 37 month sentence to the date in December when Beresford was remanded in custody on the charges.

Beresford showed no emotion as he was led, handcuffed to a security guard, from the courtroom to the cells.