A FATHER was the victim of a brutal unprovoked attack while out looking for his missing child, Alloa Sheriff Court was told last week.

The details were revealed after Sauchie man Sandy Paterson pleaded guilty to a charge of assault to injury on Tuesday, February 4.

The 28-year-old committed the offence in the town on July 26 last year.

Prosecutor Gail Russell told the court the complainer had been looking for his missing stepchild on the date in question.

At some point he stopped to talk to someone on Mount William, and their discussion became slightly heated.

Ms Russell said: "Then, out of the blue – for someone who's not involved in the matter at all – came the accused, who ran up and punched the complainer to the head.

"This caused him to fall to the ground, and [Paterson] proceeded to kick him a number of times in the ribs, and also punched him multiple times to the head."

Eventually Paterson was pulled off of the complainer, but he then chased the man down the street.

A subsequent medical examination at Forth Valley Royal Hospital revealed the man he attacked had a cut above his right eye, bruises over his right eye and forehead, pain in his hand and pain in his ribs.

Ms Russell said the injuries led to him being signed off of work for two weeks.

And she also revealed details of a letter the man had sent to the court last year, outlining the mental trauma of the attack.

She said: "It says his physical injuries have healed, but he was suffering from severe psychological effects, and was seeking NHS mental health team's help to try and overcome that problem.

"He was struggling to leave his house due to fear."

Sheriff Craig Harris deferred sentencing Paterson, of Park Crescent, until next month to allow a background report and restriction of liberty assessment to be carried out.

A plea in mitigation will be given by his solicitor when the case calls again on March 12.