A SERIAL domestic offender was warned he was "within a whisker" of being sent to prison last week.

Ryan Craw received the reprimand from Sheriff Craig Harris when he appeared for sentencing at Alloa Sheriff Court on Thursday, November 5.

The 24-year-old fell foul of Scotland's Domestic Abuse Act, by engaging in a course of conduct which was abusive towards his ex-partner.

Prosecutor Susannah Hutchison said Craw continually harassed the Wee County woman between May 20 and July 5 this year.

At times, he bombarded her with "a minimum of 40 phone calls per day", during which he would beg her to rekindle their "on-off" relationship.

He would often hide his number when making calls, putting pressure on her to answer them in case they were about something important.

Ms Hutchison said Craw even turned up at the woman's home on June 1, and walked straight into the kitchen where she was standing, claiming he was looking for his passport.

The woman went into her garden and phoned a friend to let them know Craw was in her home.

In response, Ms Hutchison said: "The accused grabbed the phone from [her] and started looking through her messages for any conversations she was having with men.

"Upon finding messages from a man, he commented, 'I didn't know you were messaging him', and began crying and saying she was taking him for a mug."

He then gave her the phone back and left.

As well as committing that offence, Craw also appeared for sentencing for a charge of threatening behaviour.

The offence took place in Clackmannanshire on May 15 this year, when he showed up at someone's home while his former partner was inside.

He shouted, swore, kicked the door and damaged the same.

In mitigation for both offences, solicitor Larissa Milligan said her client was "struggling with the separation".

She added that his time in custody after being arrested for the domestic matter was "an eye opener".

Sheriff Craig Harris noted Craw was appearing in court for his third and fourth domestic offences against the same woman.

He said: "You are within a whisker of having a sentence of imprisonment imposed upon you today."

As an alternative, he placed Craw, whose address is unknown, on a community payback order for two years.

He will be under supervision for that period, and must complete the Caledonian men's programme for domestic offenders.

He was also given 170 hours of unpaid work, and a non-harassment order put in place to protect the complainer from him.

Anyone at risk of domestic abuse or violence can contact police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, Clackmannanshire Women's Aid can be reached on 01259 721407 or by emailing ClacksWomensAid@gmail.com.

Support can also be obtained through the 24/7 Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234.