A CANVASSER who committed a series of crimes after turning to alcohol to allay cannabis withdrawal symptoms has been sent to prison.

Appearing for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, James Gillespie, 25, was told the "totality" of his offences meant there was no alternative to custody.

He had previously admitted that, while acting with another on March 11 at an address in Rosyth, he assaulted a man by repeatedly pushing him on the body and repeatedly punching him on the head to his injury.

On the same date, he also acted in a manner which caused – or was intended to cause – alarm and distress to two people by shouting, swearing and uttering threats of violence.

Gillespie, of Forker Avenue, Rosyth, admitted that on April 9, at a house in Torridon Drive, while on bail, he acted in a racially-aggravated manner which caused – or was intended to cause – alarm and distress to a person in by shouting a racial remark.

On April 14, at an address in Rosyth, he behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by shouting and swearing at his mother, and repeatedly pushed another woman on the body and in an aggressive manner while on bail.

He also pleaded guilty to breaking bail conditions which had banned him from approaching or contacting his mother.

Defence solicitor James Moncrieff said all the offences were committed while his client was under the influence of alcohol.

"He is aware that is not a mitigation but it is his explanation," he said. "Prior to these events, he was smoking quite a lot of cannabis which he thereafter tried to withdraw from because of concerns of the effects it would have on his mental health.

"He struggled as a result of that with withdrawal symptoms and, as a result, was consuming alcohol as a way of alleviating these symptoms."

Sheriff Charles Macnair said he accepted there was a need for supervision for Gillespie, however, said there was also a need to punish his criminal activities.

"For the period in March and April, you were committing a series of criminal offences which involved violence on your part, aggression on your part and racism on your part and some of these were committed whilst you were on bail," he said.

"I do not consider, having regard to the totality of your offending, that there is an appropriate alternative to custody."

He jailed him for a total of four months and 160 days.

Sentence on one of the offences, when he behaved aggressively at his mother's home, was deferred for five months with the view of imposing a supervision order after his release.