Residents have expressed shock and outrage after paedophile hunters were given community service for scaring a convicted sex offender through live-streaming on social media.

Linzi Affleck, 31, and Ryan McGovern, 29, were each given 120 hours of community service for causing Garry Allmark fear outside his address in Irvine on April 27 last year.

We previously reported Team Shades had been assigned a police liason officer from Police Scotland and had held talks with MAPPA [multi-agency public protection arrangements] partners prior to the prosecution.

When asked by the Times if officers would discourage all actions from the public - after several previous convictions of sex offenders following stings - Police Scotland added they would always act on information from residents while discouraging people taking the law into their own hands.

Superintendent Shaheen Baber said: “Protests of this nature can potentially increase risk as they undermine the efforts undertaken and measures put in place by police and partners to effectively manage RSOs in the community.

Irvine Times:

“It can also require the deployment of additional policing resources, reducing our ability to respond effectively to other calls for police assistance by members of our local communities. 

“It’s understandable that people want to protect children from harm but we would ask them not to take the law into their own hands. 

“Police Scotland will always respond to information from members of the public that a child or young person may be at risk of harm with a focus on identifying and mitigating any risk posed.”

After sentencing, a Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service spokesperson said: “We note the convictions and sentences in this case. COPFS takes criminality of this kind seriously.

“Prosecutorial action will be taken where there is sufficient evidence of a crime and it is in the public interest to do so.

“Should anyone suspect or be the victim of any criminality they should report the matter to the police.”

Reacting to the news on the Times Facebook page last week, Meg Beaton said: “Its disgusting they were even charged, our justice service is so wrong.”

Irvine Times:

Sean McCulloch said: “Absolutely no place for folk like that in our society and if he was feart then good!”

Macka Dee added: “This disgusts me they got a harsher sentence than him.”

During sentencing at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, Sheriff George Jamieson 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.”

Last week, Team Shades told the Irvine Times that they were “disgusted” with the sentence they received, but insisted they would continue taking action “within the law”.

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.”