A VIOLENT thug who forced his way into a house and attacked two defenceless women in a row over money was today jailed for seven years and 10 months.

At the High Court in Glasgow Stuart McCulloch, 29, admitted assaulting 47-year-old Catherine Milllar and Elizabeth McLelland on the head with a piece of wood at their home in Lawrence Place, Saltcoats, on September 6, last year.

Temporary judge Graham Buchanan told McCulloch: “This crime involved forcing your way into your victims' home. It was a vicious attack on two defenceless women, you used a nasty weapon to beat then.

“This incident must have been absolutely terrifying for them.”

In order to protect the public Judge Buchanan ordered McCulloch to be monitored in the community for two years after his release from prison.

Prosecutor Mark Mohammed said: “Catherine Millar has previously bought drugs from the accused and owed him money for a drug debt.”

The court heard that McCulloch and another man turned up with their faces masked with surgical tape.

McCulloch had a large piece of wood like a table leg with a nail on it and kept saying: “Give me the money, where is it.”

Miss Millar was pushed the floor and struck with the wood and Miss McLelland was also hit on the head.

She was shouting: “Take my money, tell me what you want.”

The house was ransacked and when police arrived in response to a 999 call they found furniture overturned.

The court heard that the women were robbed of mobile phones, purses and money.

Miss McLelland had a lump on her head, but did not require medical attention. Miss Millar needed stitches to cuts to the bridge of her nose and under her left eye.

McCulloch also admitted trying to kick a door in at Glebe Place, Saltcoats, on September 9, 2018. and repeatedly demanding money from the householder 42-year-old Stephen Hill.

He also pled guilty to  having heroin, Etizolam and Buprenorphine in his possession in Robertson Place, Kilmarnock, on September 29, last year.

Defence counsel John McElroy said: “He has an ongoing drugs problem. This attack on these women was a very serious offence and the public deserves to be protected from this man.”