Two would-be Irvine thieves who attacked cops with a brick and crowbar were ordered to complete unpaid work after raiding residents’ garages.

Peter Ferguson, 42, and John Rae Dunlop, 37, previously plead guilty to the break-in attempts last year as well assaulting two police officers while brandishing the weapons.

Ferguson and Dunlop, both of Mill Crescent, Irvine, previously admitted three separate charges on their indictment of attempting to force open the residents’ garages on Muir Drive on the night of May 17 last year.

Ferguson also admitted assaulting a police officer while brandishing a crowbar, with court papers stating he attempted to strike him on the body with it.

Co-accused Dunlop plead guilty to a separate assault charge of brandishing a brick and attempting to strike the officer on the body.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court

The pair – represented by defence solicitors James Irvine and Peter Murray respectively – were due for sentencing last month [Monday, March 15] with the court told both were advised to self-isolate with suspected coronavirus symptoms.

James Irvine said: “Both live together and are suffering from flu-like symptoms”, before informing Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane that they were advised to not attend the hearing that day.

Sheriff McFarlane agreed to defer sentencing to allow for the pair’s personal appearance before the court.

When they appeared last week [Tuesday, March 30] the pair were given a community payback order including 12 months under supervision.

They will also have to complete 250 hours of unpaid work in this time.