A 73-year-old creep who sent explicit messages to a 'decoy' young girl telling her he wanted to have sex with her has been given a community payback order.

Pensioner James Corrigan was sentenced at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court today (Tuesday, February 28) after admitting to sending written sexual communications to the supposed child, who was in actual fact an adult woman acting as a decoy.

On various occasions between June 5 and 14, 2022, at his address in Cairngorm Court, Irvine and elsewhere, Corrigan sent a series of WhatsApp messages to a person he thought was a child called Darcy, aged 12.

The Times previously reported Corrigan was arrested after a sting involving a so-called paedophile-hunting group. A crowd gathered outside his home on June 15 last year before police arrested and charged him.

The single charge against Corrigan stated that he intentionally sent the explicit messages for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, distressing, or alarming the recipient.

According to court papers, the messages included telling the supposed young girl that he desired to engage in sexual intercourse with her and that he was pleasuring himself while messaging her. He also discussed an image of his private member that he had sent her.

Sentencing had been deferred since the end of January and at today's hearing, Corrigan was placed under social worker supervision for two years.

He must complete 100 hours of unpaid work in the community within 12 months and he will also be subject to sex offender notification requirements for two years.