Priest attacked by would-be robber in Ayrshire church

24 January 2018, 13:29 | Updated: 24 January 2018, 13:31

Kilwinning church attack on Priest

Police are hunting a man who attacked a priest and tried to rob him in a chapel.

The suspect came to the door of the chapel house at St Winin's Church, in St Winnings Lane, Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, around 4.30pm on Tuesday.

When the priest opened the door and let him into the chapel, the man threatened him and demanded money.

He then grabbed the priest's collar and began pushing and shoving him, before grabbing the keys from his hand.

The suspect left empty handed apart from the keys which were later recovered in the area.

Police believe the same man may have caused a disturbance in the vicinity of the Pennyburn Supermarket in Kilwinning, a short time before the attempted robbery, and appealed for information about both incidents.

Detective Inspector Mick Carr said: "I am appealing to anyone who was in either of these areas at the time of the incidents to think back and consider if they noticed anything suspicious or unusual.

"Did you see anyone hanging about outside the church? If there is any information which you think could assist us in our enquiries and lead to us tracing the person responsible then please do pass it on.

"Your information could prove vital."

The 62 year-old priest did not need medical attention.

The suspect is described as white, aged between 25 and 30 years old, with brown hair and of medium build and medium height.

His appearance was described as scruffy and he was wearing a blue tracksuit top and dark coloured trousers.

Police are following several lines of inquiry and will be checking for any CCTV footage.

Anyone with information is asked to call officers at Saltcoats CID via 101, quoting incident number 2486 of January 23, 2018.

Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be passed anonymously.