TWO men who broke into a Helensburgh flat and stole items including watches, keys and a mask have been warned they could go to prison for the crime.

William McFall and Iain Campbell appeared in court last week after pleading guilty to breaking into the property in Drumfork Court last summer.

McFall, 40, and 24-year-old Campbell admitted charges of theft by housebreaking from the flat on July 12 last year.

But despite asking for background reports on the pair, a sheriff decided he needed more information before passing sentence.

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McFall’s solicitor, Tom Brown, told Sheriff Maxwell Hendry: “It may be – just may be – that there is an alternative available to a custodial sentence.

“He knows, given his record, that a prison sentence would be uppermost in your Lordship’s mind.

“He has drug and alcohol problems, but has been trying to do something about that.

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“It’s a bad record, I can’t get away from that. But there’s a gap in that record, and during that gap he was getting help, and managed to stay off drugs and alcohol.”

Jonathan Paul, representing Campbell, said: “He comes across as extremely immature. His partner is in court today and I understand there is a good deal of stability emanating from her.

“But his behaviour and attitude are not impressive.”

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Sheriff Hendry told the pair: “People who break into other people’s houses deserve to go to prison. People with records as bad as yours – especially you, Mr McFall – deserve to go to prison.

“I am looking at other possibilities – but they are only possibilities.”

McFall, of Nursery Street in Helensburgh, and Campbell, currently living at Smiddy Court in Garelochhead, were ordered to come back to court on June 5 after the sheriff asked for a report on whether McFall would be suitable for a ‘drug treatment and testing order’ as a punishment.