A Beith dad who sent threatening messages to his ex-girlfriend over access to their young son has been given a second chance by a sheriff.

The 29-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to one charge under the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Act at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week.

The court heard that since the man and his ex-partner separated last November, there had been “ongoing issues” regarding his contact with their child.

The issues caused the woman to text her ex-partner on November 21 telling him it was his “last chance” with regards to his contact with their son.

She then got a message from the accused saying that he could not collect their son on an agreed night because he was working late.

The woman then changed her phone number but kept her old mobile for contacting her ex about their child.

On January 4 she checked her old mobile and saw he had text her saying: “You wee junkie, you’re well gone”. The message was followed by two laughing emojis.

He also sent her: “You will be sleeping with your sister soon” with a middle finger emoji. The message was distressing to the woman and she regarded it as a threat as her sister was deceased.

Defending the accused, solicitor Ashleigh Kane said: “He tells me that the background to this is he had been texting his ex-partner throughout December to see his son at Christmas time and she did not respond at all.

“When she did finally respond at the end of the month she said she didn’t get his texts.

“As he had ‘read’ receipts, he knew this to be a lie. As a result of that he lost his temper, his emotions got the better of him.

“He accepts his text messages were completely out of order and completely out of character for him.

“Since this matter has passed there has been no further contact with his ex-partner and he’s been able to facilitate contact with his son through his mum.

“He’s aware of the action he needs to take and that this is not the way.

“This was a one-off silly incident which will not be repeated.”

Sheriff Craig Harris told the accused that his behaviour was “unacceptable”, adding: “I’m sure that bringing yourself before the court for the first time brings that home to you.

“I’m going to defer sentence for good behaviour.

“That’s with this warning that if there is a repeat of this behaviour in the next six months you can well expect the police to be at your door and the court to take this very seriously.

“You’re now effectively being watched by the court.”

The man was ordained to return to the court in August.