A FORMER soldier threatened to shoot police dead after a 'substantial' number of officers had to be called to a drugs-related disturbance at his Greenock flat.

Craig Folan — who erupted in a rage after a woman refused his demand to sell her mobile phone for him to buy illegal substances — sparked a call for significant police reinforcements.

After he was eventually arrested, the 38-year-old ex-squaddie said: "If I had my SA80 I'd be taking all of yous out."

Prosecutor Mark Nicol told the sheriff court: "The accused was previously a member of HM Armed Forces and an SA80 is a standard issue assault rifle."

Folan's female victim had called police in a panic after he became 'angry, aggressive and verbally abusive' towards her.

Fiscal depute Mr Nicol said: "He suggested to her that she should pawn her phone to raise funds to buy drugs.

"He was told by her that this was not going to happen and he called her a 'rat', a 'boot' and a 'scumbag'.

"The police call handler could hear the accused shouting in the background.

"He refused police entry to the flat and swore in stating, 'I'm no' opening the door, go get a warrant'.

"Officers called for substantial reinforcements.

"The accused was heard to call the complainer a 'grass' and a 'cow'.

"Police finally forced entry to the flat with a large number of officers, eight, in attendance."

Folan, of Ravenscraig Court on Inverkip Road, admitted placing the woman in a state of fear and alarm after issuing a demand for her to cash in on her phone for drugs.

He also pleaded guilty to struggling violently with police and threatening to shoot them if he was in possession of an SA80.

The offences were committed on June 19 last year.

Defence lawyer David Tod said: "His life has moved on.

"His mother died in August last year and his father was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer last October and Mr Folan has effectively been caring for his father since."

Sheriff Hughes deferred sentence until October 28 for a background report and placed Folan on a night-time bail curfew to stay within his flat between 6pm and 6am each day.