A man who thought he was being intimidated by a group of passengers on a train lashed out but ended worst off.
Nicholas Burnett (35) threw the first punch, but became the victim as others set about him.
When the train stopped at Falkirk High Station he escaped along the track.
Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Burnett had pled guilty to the assault he committed between Edinburgh Waverley and Falkirk High Station on July 21.
Procurator fiscal depute Graham McLachlan said: “The complainer was another passenger and tried to stop Mr Burnett behaving in the aggressive way he was doing. The accused punched the witness in the face causing a gash to his left eye.
“Police were contacted and were waiting for the accused at Falkirk High Station. The accused left the train with his belongings and jumped down onto the tracks and made off.
“Police were in Larbert hospital on an unrelated matter and saw the accused, who told them he had been injured and had only been defending himself on the train.”
The court heard Burnett had previous convictions for assault 10 years ago.
His defence solicitor said: “I can confirm he was significantly injured about the head with a black eye. The police detained him within Forth Valley Royal Hospital and waited until he received treatment before they took him to the police station.
“He accepts there was a verbal disagreement between a group of males and himself. He was on his own and this group was quite large in number. He felt they were being aggressive to him and he struck first.”
Sheriff Derek Livingston said: “In effect, a pre-emptive strike”.
Burnett, 2 Drip Road, Raploch, then left the train and was picked up by his girlfriend who took him to hospital.
Sheriff Livingston ordered him to complete 160 hours unpaid work within eight months.