A man who claimed he was acting in self-defence after he hit another man on the head with a hammer has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Matthew Thomson, of Stevenston’s Morrison Avenue, pled guilty to two charges at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week.

Thomson, 40, was at an address in Stevenston with friends on May 25. As he went to leave, he asked for his share of tobacco which he and the complainer had both bought that day. This could not be found and Thomson blamed him. An argument ensued.

Thomson left but later returned and struck the door with a claw hammer, causing damage to it. The witness went to the door and was struck twice on the head.

The court heard that he sustained a superficial injury above his right eye and had swelling to the area.

When Thomson was traced by police, he said: “If I didn’t hit him with a hammer he would have been at me the next day with a knife.”

Thomson’s defence lawyer, Miss Kane, said that her client was under the influence of Valium at the time but was currently attending a drug worker and was “stable on a methadone programme”.

She added: “Though he does have a record this is some age and limited. There’s a suggestion in the report he was acting in self-defence. He felt agitated and he thought the complainer might attack him.

“He has expressed remorse for his actions and he understands the impact this will have not just on the complainer but any witnesses and neighbours and he apologises. I appreciate that charge two is a serious charge and it’s unfortunate that the complainer suffered a superficial injury.”

Sheriff Hanlon told Thomson: “Any offence which involves striking someone on the head with a hammer is very serious.”

Thomson was given a Community Payback Order with 12 months supervision, 120 hours of unpaid work, and a restriction of Liberty Order.