A Kilwinning offender dodged jail after performing a sex act in front of two girls on a busy number 11 bus at 8am one morning.

Michael Reid, 35, expressed ‘remorse’ after he admitted engaging in a sexual act in the presence of two 12-year-olds while sat top-deck at the back of the Number 11 bus with a bottle of drink last year.

The court heard last week he felt ‘shame’ for his actions, before being made to sign on as a sex offender and ordered to stay home in the evenings when he returned to the dock on Monday, March 23.

The court previously heard how Reid began pleasuring himself after the girls, both aged 12, boarded the Stagecoach bus at Saltcoats station about 8.20am on July 26 last year.

Irvine Times: Michael ReidMichael Reid

Reid, of Montgomerie Terrace, Kilwinning, looked at the girls while performing the sex act, then paused when new passengers boarded.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Saud Ul-Hassan said: “The two witnesses were, at one point, having a conversation and the accused intervened.

“The witnesses continued to chat to each other and observed the accused masturbating over his trousers.

“Whilst they were conversing, the accused kept looking at them and smiling.”

One of the girls began to record him on her mobile before they then started to text each other instead of speaking and agreed to pretend to get off the bus.

They then told the driver what had happened, who contacted a supervisor, while Reid got off the bus.

Police identified Reid from photographs and, when interviewed and shown video footage confirmed it was him. When cautioned and charged, Reid told the police: “I have to be guilty. I’m really sorry.”

His defence solicitor Brian Holliman said: “The remorse, embarrassment and shame he feels in relation to the offence is genuine and he recognises and acknowledges the impact on the complainers.

“It is now all known to all friends and family, his mother is in court, and he has lost his employment.

“It’s caused him to reflect on the role of alcohol”, adding he had a ‘history of alcohol abuse’.

He said Reid had complied with a bail condition not to return to the Number 11 bus.

On reading a statement from one of the girls mothers, Sheriff Shirley Foran said she took “great encouragement” from the mum’s “very sensible approach’ in explaining to her daughter that the random drunken incident "must not be allowed to have any impact on her life”.

She sentenced Reid to a community payback order with supervision for two years, a restriction of liberty order to stay at home from 7pm-7am and placed him on the sex offender register.