A KILBIRNIE man who threatened to burn a police officer’s house to the ground has dodged a jail term.

John Henry Barclay, of Ladysmith Road, Kilbirnie, appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week for sentencing, having previously pled guilty to one charge.

The court heard that Barclay was taken to Saltcoats Police Office at around 1am on December 17 last year in relation to another matter. He became aggressive and abusive and ignored any requests by the duty officer.

As a result, Barclay was put in a cell, where he continued to display signs of aggression. Barclay said to one of the officers that he was going to have him shot, have his house burned to the ground and have his wife set on fire with his family within.

He then made some more threats to another police officer. He told the man he was going to burn his house down and that he was going to wait at the back gates each day waiting on him finishing.

Solicitor Peter Murray asked Sheriff Michael Hanlon to consider Barclay’s behaviour as “a drunken rant”, though acknowledged that “it would have been worrying and concerning” for the officers involved.

Mr Murray added: “He has almost no recollection of the events. “He appears before your Lordship with a fairly significant record, mainly driven by his misuse of drugs and alcohol.

“This caused problems in his family environment; that caused him to take action and he stopped using illicit substances and he has significantly moderated his alcohol intake.

“He’s managed to stay out of trouble for six years.”

Sheriff Hanlon said: “This was an appalling crime and would have been very disturbing to those who heard it and to those who it was directed towards.

“I have to think what I’m going to do here because police officers should not be subjected to that.

“You have a bad record. I’ve taken into account what’s been said on your behalf, you’ve been out of trouble for a long time, and it’s on this basis I’m going to step back from custody.

“I’m going to impose a Community Payback Order with a supervision requirement of nine months.”

Barclay was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and was given a nine week restriction of liberty order.