AN AYR thug chased a man down the street while armed with a hammer – before striking the weapon against a van during the pursuit.

Stephen Hill pleaded guilty to behaving in a threatening or abusive manner and possessing an offensive weapon in the town's Thomson Street on June 18 last year. 

The 43-year-old admitted causing fear and alarm by brandishing the hammer, then repeatedly attempting to strike a van while in possession of the tool. 

A plea of not guilty to a charge of assault was accepted by prosecutors. 

Procurator fiscal depute Alexander Fraser told a hearing at Ayr Sheriff Court: “The accused first appeared on June 23. The case was continued for further examination and the accused was granted bail.

“On June 18 at 8.50am the male witness, an unknown female and Hill were engaged in an argument, which escalated. 

“Witnesses in their homes heard two males shouting and then the female shouting ‘stop, that’s a hammer'.

“They saw the accused brandishing a hammer. They saw him running with the accused, presenting a hammer and shouting at him to stop.

“A witness in a van heard shouting. The witness then got into the van.

“He approached a van and hit it with a hammer, and told him to open the door. 

"Police searched for the accused and witnesses without success.

"They later traced him at an address and he appeared intoxicated."

Defence solicitor John Gallagher said he would reserve his plea in mitigation for Hill’s sentencing hearing, adding that his client had been subject to bail throughout proceedings.

Bail was continued while Sheriff Desmond Leslie deferred sentencing for criminal justice social work reports.

Hill, of Gould Street, Ayr, will return to court at a later date.