A man who assaulted and injured a woman cried as he dodged a jail term.

Gary Difolco appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court for sentencing having previously pled guilty to two charges of assault and two charges of breaching bail conditions.

Sentence had been deferred for reports and last week, the 30-year-old returned to court to hear his fate. Difolco assaulted the woman on June 11 last year at his home in Ardrossan’s Montgomerie Street.

He attempted to forcibly remove her phone from her hand, dragged her up a flight of stairs and into the property, refused to leave, seized her by the throat and compressed it, and threatened to harm himself with a knife to her injury.

He assaulted the woman again on September 20 at another address in Ardrossan in that he seized her by the throat and pushed her on the body.

Difolco then breached his bail conditions on several occasions which prohibited him from coming within 25 metres of the woman’s home street or attempting to communicate with her.

Sheriff Alistair Watson said: “I’m very concerned about your behaviour towards the woman which even in itself would suffice a custodial sentence.”

As a direct alternative to custody, Sheriff Watson imposed a Community Payback Order with supervision of two years to be reviewed periodically.

He also placed Difolco on a Restriction of Liberty Order requiring him to remain within his home from 7pm-7am seven days a week for four months.

As Difolco wept in the dock during sentencing, Sheriff Watson told him: “Don’t go standing there crying. That’s not going to evoke sympathy in me, so behave yourself.”