A JOHNSTONE man is facing jail after he tried to lure two young girls from a cycle path.

Jason Brown pounced on the youngsters, aged eight and nine, when they disappeared from their parents’ sight for a few seconds.

Scar-faced Brown, who has 27 previous convictions, emerged from a nearby riverbank after they rode their bikes round a blind bend and could not be seen by their mums and dads.

The drunken crook asked the primary school pupils their names and then said he would take them away from the path.

But the girls, who were left in floods of tears because of the incident, cycled off and raised the alarm.

The details emerged when 47-year-old Brown appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court this week to go on trial over the events of August 9 last year.

He was accused of attempting to abduct the youngsters from the cycle track in Elderslie on the day in question.

Prosecutors claimed that Brown, being a stranger to the girls, tried to give them papers, told them to tell him their names, repeatedly told them to go with him and placed them in a state of fear and alarm for their safety.

He also faced an alternative charge of committing a breach of the peace – and pleaded guilty to that offence.

Procurator fiscal depute Frank Clarke told the court how Brown approached the girls when they disappeared from their parents’ view.

He said: “Two children, along with other children and adults, their parents, were out for the day.

“The children had bikes with them and, for the greater part of the day, were at the cycle track.

“The accused approached them round a bend, out of sight of their parents. He was carrying blue paper.”

The court was told the girls refused to go with Brown and, instead, headed back to their parents.

Mr Clarke said: “Both children were extremely upset. It transpires he was heavily under the influence of alcohol.”

Defence solicitor Charlie McCusker told the court his client, who has previously been convicted of assaults, robberies, housebreaking, fraud and shoplifting, among other offences, had downed two bottles of wine on the day in question.

He added: “This is a very trying case. He came upon the girls. He thought he knew them and said he would ‘get them up the road.’

“It would clearly be frightening for the girls to see someone intoxicated and dishevelled.”

Sheriff David Pender called for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing, in what he termed “a very serious offence” and warned Brown he could be caged, telling him: “All options are still open to me.”

Brown, formerly of Floorsburn Crescent, Johnstone, and now living in Old Road, Elderslie, was released on bail and is due to be sentenced next month.