A knife attacker who brutally slashed a young woman in the face in an unprovoked assault was jailed for four and a half years today (Friday).

James Thomson left his latest victim with blood pouring from a facial wound that required 20 stitches to be inserted into the injury he inflicted.

A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh told Thomson that he had committed a "terrifying attack" months after his release from jail on licence.

Lord Doherty ordered that Thomson, 24, should serve 450 days imprisonment from the unexpired part of his last sentence before he starts serving his latest jail term.

The judge also ordered that the knife attacker should be under supervision for a further three-year period when he can be returned to prison if he breaches licence conditions.

Thomson earlier admitted assaulting the victim to her severe injury, permanent disfigurement and permanent impairment on April 9 last year at Caroline Crescent, Alva.

He also admitted unlawful possession of a knife in a public place.

The attack victim was out socialising with friends when she went into the town's Cairn Bar and spoke to stranger Thomson who introduced himself as 'James T from Tillicoultry'.

Advocate depute Stephen McCloy said the victim and her group decided to leave the premises as they became uncomfortable with Thomson and his friend.

The pair approached her group and following an incident, which did not involve the woman, they left stating "we will be back".

Thomson returned armed with a knife and had a pit bull terrier on a lead. Mr McCloy said: "Thomson walked straight to the woman and slashed her across the face. She described blood pouring out."

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment and it was found that the deepest part of the wound was right through to the inside of her mouth.

Defence solicitor advocate Brian Gilfedder said: "This is a serious offence and will merit a significant custodial sentence."

He said Thomson accepted that it was an unprovoked attack on a woman which had caused physical and psychological damage.

"He acknowledges the harm he has done and how wrong it was for him to behave in that manner," said Mr Gilfedder.  

The court heard that Thomson was previously jailed for 46 months for a serious assault to danger of life involving a screwdriver in 2020.

He has a further previous conviction for knife possession.