FOUR teenagers have been charged following last week's vandalism in Ayr's Auld Kirk.

Two youths aged 13 and two aged 14, were identified after appeals to the public.

The famous kirk, which Robert Burns used to attend, was targeted around 5pm last Thursday, May 25.

Parts of the kirk and statues in the grounds were covered in graffiti.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Two youths aged 13 and two youths aged 14 have been identified and charged following reports of a vandalism which caused extensive damage to the Auld Kirk, Blackfriars Walk, Ayr.

“A report will be submitted to the children’s reporter."

Ayrshire's top cop, Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain, said on Twitter: "Grateful for the support from the Ayrshire public for this appeal.

"Appreciation to my colleagues at @PSOSSAyrshire for their swift action in charging two 13-year-olds and two 14-year-olds."

Reverend David Gemmell, the Auld Kirk's minister, said South Ayrshire Council had cleaned the worst of the graffiti off the A-Listed historic building before last Sunday's church service.

"It's just mindless vandalism," he told the BBC.

"I've been here for 25 years and this is the first, and hopefully last, time something like this has happened.

"It's very disappointing. The church is there to serve the community and it has been for 367 years.

"What have we ever done to anybody to deserve this?"

He said the graffiti on the church door had been painted over and the security perspex screen on the windows would need to be replaced.

Following the graffiti attack, Chief Inspector Kevin Lammie said: “This vandalism was obviously a deliberate act.

"The damage to this sacred building and these historic statues runs into thousands of pounds, not to mention the upset this will cause to the Ayr community."

The age of the youths involved means they cannot be identified. They will appear at a hearing with the Children's Reporter at a later date, rather than in a full court.