A WOULD-BE robber has been jailed after being caught trying to break into a hotel in Ardrossan – on the day he was released from custody.

Christopher Forbes was locked up after targeting the town’s Lauriston Hotel earlier this year – with a judge telling the 32-year-old that his “dreadful” criminal record meant prison was the only option.

Forbes’ previous offences included breaking into a bar in Irvine and leaving all the drink taps turned on, and stealing food from the Food Warehouse in the Riverway Retail Park.

But after being spared jail for the pub break-in – at the Carrick in Irvine’s High Street on November 22 last year – Forbes was told that this time there was no alternative to custody.

Forbes appeared from custody at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on Friday, August 4.

The procurator fiscal said: “On the evening of May 3 at 11.15pm the night porter was on duty at the Lauriston. The location has an outer and inner door. 

“At 3am the night porter as in the reception and started to hear a rattling noise start at the door.

“He told the accused to leave. He then went into a separate room and through the glass window noticed the accused watching and loitering, before leaving and jumping the gate.  

“The accused was later traced hiding nearby and taken to the police office. 

“They noted the bolts on the lock of the outer door were twisted, with damage consistent with body pressure.”  

Forbes had been placed on a drug treatment and testing order (DTTO) – a strict regime of regular reviews and drug testing – for the break-in at the Carrick.

Having been remanded in custody following his initial arrest for the Carrick incident, Forbes was released on May 3 to begin his DTTO – only to be caught at the Lauriston just a few hours later.

Defence solicitor Peter Murray told the court his client “recognises the position he has put himself” but hoped to be given a further opportunity with his DTTO. 

He said: “Mr Forbes has long-standing drug issues and is identified as having a turbulent upbringing.

“He was introduced to drugs at a very young age. He had taken Valium and was heavily under the influence when he committed the offence.  

“When speaking to him in custody he gave a firm assurance that he wanted to resolve matters at the earliest opportunity. He did want to waste any court time.”

The court was told Forbes, who was described in court papers as an inmate at HMP Kilmarnock, had “fully detoxified” since first being remanded in custody on May 5, two days after the Lauriston incident.

Sheriff Murdoch MacTaggart told Forbes: “Your record is honestly dreadful. The only way I can deal with this is a custodial sentence. 

“If you are involved in any further offences you are just going to go on remand now.”