A sex offender who shared child abuse images as far as Yemen has been led away from his home in Irvine.

Residents held a protest outside the home of Gordon Thomson after the Castlepark resident was sentenced for hoarding child abuse images and sharing them with paedophiles on his phone using WhatsApp.

Thomson was later caught using a false name.

He was seen being taken away from his home in a police van on the night of Monday, September 18. 

Police said no-one was arrested or charged with any offences following the protests - but did not confirm whether he had subsequently returned to the property.

The Times previously reported how Thomson had pleaded guilty to three charges of downloading, possessing and distributing the indecent pictures of children from his home in Etive Place - before also being caught using another name on Facebook.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard police attended the accused's partner's home with a warrant on April 1, 2022, before Thomson's phone was searched and images found on the device.

A total of 74 indecent images were found, 51 of which were the worst level of abuse - including 28 category A videos and 23 still images.

Another 15 were at category B and eight at category C.

The procurator fiscal depute added: "Various chat threads on the WhatsApp application were found in which indecent images were requested by or shared by the accused.

"One of the chat logs showed a group of 111 persons in which indecent images were exchanged between users.

"One user he was communicating with had a Yemen dialling code."

Thomson admitted taking, permitting to be taken or making indecent images or pseudo-images of children on various occasions between February 7 and March 30 , 2022.

He also admitted possessing the images from February 7 to April 1 last year and distributing or showing the child abuse imagery with others online from March 27-29.

Thomson breached his sex offender notification requirements, being caught with a Facebook page using another name after police linked him with the Facebook page of a 'Danbert Gosling'.

He was placed in a community payback order for three years, under strict supervision from the authorities, and will take part in the Moving Forward Making Changes programme.

He will also have to complete 160 hours of unpaid work and remain on the sex offenders register for three years.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of a large group gathered outside a property at Etive Place, Castlepark, Irvine around 8.15pm on Monday, 18 September 2023.

“Officers engaged with the group who subsequently dispersed around 9.05pm.

"No one was arrested or charged with any offence.”

Police Scotland can be contacted on 101 - in an emergency always dial 999.