Two Irvine paedophile hunters were ordered to do unpaid work for causing fear outside the home of a sex offender – who was previously convicted after attempting to meet a child at an Ayrshire sport centre.

Linzi Affleck, 31, and Ryan McGovern, 29, of the Scotland-wide Team Shades group, returned to court last week [Tuesday, June 21] after admitting to amended charges of threatening behaviour towards Garry Allmark.

The group’s founder Linzi Affleck pleaded guilty after prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of stalking – with co-accused Ryan McGovern also admitting causing him fear and alarm.

Both told the Times they were ‘disgusted’ to have been given a similar punishment to someone who wanted to meet a child – but happy to be helping the community.

Defending Ms Affleck, solicitor Martin Duffy said: “She takes full responsibility.

“She has previously had some involvement with the police and relevant agencies [through Team Shades] and now has some insight into how offenders are watched in the communities.

“She entered a plea of guilty at the trial diet, sparing Mr Allmark having to give evidence.

“As far as disposal, she is fit and able for unpaid work – she works in a recovery café for people recovering from addictions.”

Defending Ryan McGovern, solicitor Neil McPherson said: “He has had a difficult past – I’ve know him for seven or eight years – but he has become a very useful member of society.”

However, Sheriff George Jamieson told the behaviour ‘crossed the custody threshold’ but would give them community service as a ‘deterrent’ to others.

He said: “There are agencies who deal with these matters. Your self-righteousness resulted in serious public disorder.

“This is a punishment and it is also being imposed as a deterrent to anyone else in behaving in this manner. You will be given instruction by social work to attend unpaid work, failure to comply will result in a warrant for your arrest”.

Both will have to complete 120 hours of unpaid work in total as part of the community payback order.

The Procurator Fiscal depute said: “Mr Allmark was home alone and observed Mr McGovern on CCTV shouting through the letter box “Garry we just want to speak to you”.

“The matter was again live-streamed on the Team Shades Facebook page. He heard shouting calling him a “f***ing beast’ and a ‘paedo’. He acted the panic alarm and police arrived.

“Officers attempted to reason with the group. They said they would stay until he was removed.”

Team Shades told the Times they were ‘disgusted’ with the sentence but happy to at least be doing some community work after prosecution.

The group said members would continue taking action within the law’ with one member adding he had learned it’s best ‘not to swear at people’ after the two accused admitting to threatening behaviour.

Speaking after the sentencing at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, Ryan McGovern said: “The sentence was dreadful. I don’t want other members of the community to shy away from future protests. We will still have rights to protest against any sex offender deemed to be dangerous in our area, we just have to be careful on what we say towards them and handle the protest as set out on the government’s website.

“We don’t want another paedophile playing the victim card. Sexual crimes towards adults and children are happening here in the public should keep following all the local hunter teams and news outlets to become aware of any registered sex offender because awareness is key

Founder member Linzi Affleck added: “I’m just appalled at the justice system and urge parents to be constant checking their kids device’s and social media – devices are not baby sitters.”