A BARMAID was punched in the face as she tried to defuse trouble which flared in a Kelty pub at closing time.

Then a customer was put in a headlock and repeatedly punched on the side of the head.

The incident led to a trial at Dunfermline Sheriff Court for Alastair Russini, who denied assaulting the barmaid and customer.

He claimed he was the one who had been assaulted by being elbowed in the face and had reported the incident to the police afterwards.

But Russini, 31, of Victoria Street, Dunfermline, was found guilty of the three charges he faced.

On April 24 last year at No. 1 Goth public house, Main Street, Kelty, he assaulted the barmaid by punching her in the face.

He also assaulted the customer by seizing him by the head, placing his arm around his neck and repeatedly punching him on the head.

Russini also behaved in a threatening manner by repeatedly shouting and swearing at others in the pub.

The female victim, 44, told the Court she had worked as a barmaid in the pub for 24 years.

She said the incident occurred at the end of the night when there only a few customers finishing off their drinks.

Russini shouted that he'd been hit by the other man but she said: "I know that didn’t happen as I was standing just next to them. Nothing had happened".

She said she had gone from behind the bar to stand between the two men to calm things down but was punched on the left cheek by Russini.

“I was hit and went from the bar over to the fireplace," she said.

Russini then grabbed the man, put him in a headlock and was "punching him on the head" until the man "dropped to the floor”.

The barmaid described the blow as “bloody sore” and she was left with a bruised face.

The other man, 53, a crane driver at Rosyth Dockyard, said: “There was a bit of a fracas. I was accused of assaulting Mr Russini which was a total fabrication. It didn’t happen.

“We tried to get him out the place then he got me in a headlock and started punching me on the side of the head.”

He admitted showing Russini a few karate moves but denied striking him as he did so.

Russini, a web developer, told the Court he had started drinking in the pub after moving to live in Kelty.

He claimed the other man started demonstrating karate moves right next to him and elbowed him in the face.

He admitted shouting but said he committed no assaults.

Sheriff Craig McSherry found Russini guilty and fined him £750.