A MAN who attacked a woman and child avoided a custodial sentence at Alloa Sheriff Court despite the fact he has committed similar crimes in the past.

Steven Penn was in the dock for sentencing on Thursday, October 24, when details of his previous convictions were revealed.

The 47-year-old recently admitted assaulting a woman by seizing her hair and pushing and pulling her, while at an address in Alloa between February 1 and March 30.

Penn also admitted assaulting a young child on May 10 by seizing hold of her and struggling with her.

It was originally alleged that he grabbed her by the throat, but this had been amended when he appeared for sentencing.

Solicitor Robert Smith said Penn has analogous previous convictions, and was aware of how serious his offences were.

Sheriff David Mackie described the assaults as “troubling”, but said he wouldn't send him to prison.

Instead he gave Penn, of Drysdale Street in Alloa, a community payback order with the requirement that he undergo supervision for one year, and imposed a non-harassment order for two years.