Paedophile hunters posed as delivery drivers in order to get a man who was communicating indecently with children to come to his front door.
David Penney, 56, thought he was chatting to girls as young as 13 but was actually speaking to adult volunteers working with online groups who expose offenders.
After luring him to the front door of his Keith home by pretending to be delivery drivers, the volunteers passed the information on to police – who Penney had already called to get rid of the paedophile hunters on his doorstep.
Penney, of Main Street, Newmill, has avoided a prison sentence but instead will have to participate in a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.
He will also be under three years of social work supervision and remain on the sex offender’s register for the same period after being sentenced at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Sara Matheson had previously deferred sentence for a background report.
The sheriff had been told that Penney began communicating with an adult posing as 13-year-old ‘Isla’ on September 25 2021 on a chat site.
Asked intimate questions
The court heard that Penney would ask her intimate questions about her nipples, bra wearing and how he would like to see more of her.
But fiscal depute Pauline Gair told the court that he ended the conversation a few days later “and he appeared to block her number”.
Mrs Gair said that the second decoy was set up by another vigilante group under the name of Chloe and Penney contacted her on January 26, 2022.
Once more he asked her about wearing a bra, how he would like to see her topless, enquired about her nipples and if she had seen a man’s penis.
Mrs Gair said: “He ended the conversation 24 hours afterwards but the groups traced him by posing as a delivery driver with a damaged parcel for him. They got his address and when they went to his door, it was filmed and broadcast live on social media.”
She added that Penney himself contacted police about what was happening and when officers arrived, the group representatives handed over their dossier on him.