AN AYR booze bandit made off with more than £13,000 worth of whisky after a Hogmanay raid on a pub and flat in the town.

John Thomson was jailed after pleading guilty to breaking into Geordie’s Byre and an adjoining flat.

The 47-year-old had previously targeted The Buf in Prestwick and made off with cash from a games machine.

Thomson appeared from custody for sentencing at Ayr Sheriff Court last week.

Describing the raid on The Buf, fiscal depute Chris Munro said a witness had gone to the beer garden at 8am on December 4 last year and noted that a games machine had been broken into and £30 taken.

But CCTV footage from the scene identified Thomson as the man responsible.

Moving on to the incident at the now-closed Geordie’s Byre, Mr Munro said: "The witness was checking the locus and discovered the rear gate had been accessed and the back door forced open.  

"They entered the flat and found it had been ransacked. Valuable whisky and coins were stolen and a safe forced open.” 

Among the stolen items was a bank card, £100 in cash, a selection of bagged coins at £300, a £300 shaver, £350 Nikon camera, two £300 Berghaus jackets, a £500 raincoat, a knife holder with set of knives valued at £300 and a Wembley air weapon worth £500.

A backpack and fawn satchel, valued at £12 and £25 respectively, were also taken – along with 38 bottles of whisky valued at £3,000.

From the cellar of the pub itself, a further 200 bottles of whisky, with a total value of £10,000, were stolen along with two bottles of vodka worth a total of £80.

Mr Munro added: “None of the items were recovered."

The court heard Thompson, described in court papers as an inmate at HMP Kilmarnock, was traced after his DNA  was traced on an Irn-Bru can in the property.

Defence solicitor Colin McLaughlin said: "There is a significant gap in offending, over nine years.

“In 2020 he returned to old habits and his addiction to illicit substances.

"There was another individual involved in the petition but he is being dealt with in another forum. 

“Mr Thompson invited this to be resolved at the earliest stage.”

Sheriff Mhairi MacTaggart told Thomson: "You know these charges, with your record, will result in custody."

He was jailed for two years for the Buf incident and two-and-a-half for the Geordie’s Byre raid.

The sentences were backdated to January 16, when Thomson was first taken into custody, and will be served concurrently.