A VIOLENT pensioner who attacked a young female in an unprovoked assault in Inverkeithing has avoided a jail sentence.

Christopher Staffurth struck the victim on the head as she sat on a bench with a friend.

The 69-year-old, of Horsham, West Sussex, had been travelling around Scotland, living in hotels and sometimes sleeping rough. He has other court cases pending across the country.

During a previous appearance at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, Staffurth had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the cells after being remanded in custody.

He appeared back at court via video-link from prison.

Staffurth had admitted that on January 5 at High Street, Inverkeithing, he assaulted a female by striking her on the head to her injury.

Defence solicitor Stephen Morrison previously said his client seemed to be leading “an itinerant existence” even though he had a home in Horsham.

He had recently been moving around Scotland and living in various places including Stirling, Dundee and Inverness.

Depute fiscal David Currie said the incident took place at 3.50pm when the victim was sitting on a public bench talking to a friend.

Staffurth, who was completely unknown to her, suddenly appeared and without warning struck her on the head.

The assault left the victim feeling dizzy, added the depute.

Staffurth was later found by police in a nearby pub and arrested.

At sentencing, Mr Morrison conceded: “No responsibility seems to be taken by him.”

He also said his client denied having any mental health issues.

Staffurth interrupted his solicitor, saying: “This is a repeat. I’ve heard all this before.”

He was warned by Sheriff Andrew Berry that if he continued to disrupt proceedings he could be jailed for contempt of court.

He said he was minded to impose an order banning Staffurth from Scotland but was unable to do so because he has other court cases coming up north of the border.

“This was a random, outrageous assault,” said the sheriff, who imposed a community payback order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

He commented: “I can think of no other reasonable way to deal with this matter.”

The unpaid work will be done in England.