A pervert snared by a vigilante group after travelling 200 miles to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old girl has avoided a prison sentence.
Alexander Elliott arrived at a Greggs branch in Glasgow’s George Square expecting to meet a teenager named “Poppy”.
The 45-year-old had come from Elgin with a packet of condoms in his pocket but did not find his prey waiting for him.
Instead, Elliott was met by members of the Wolfpack Hunters group who confronted him before alerting the police to his intentions.
He could have faced a prison sentence, but when he appeared at the High Court in Glasgow for sentencing yesterday, Sheriff Martin Jones instead ordered that he be supervised for three years.
Elliot, of South College House in Elgin, was also placed on the sex offenders register.
The High Court earlier heard he’d been grooming the “girl” for months, having been in touch with “Poppy” via WhatsApp and another app called Waplog.
Elliott passed on his number – despite being told he was chatting to an underage girl – and at one point told her “I think you look pretty”.
He asked his target to send him photographs and claimed “Poppy” was now his girlfriend.
Elliott went on to arrange the meeting at Greggs, only to then find himself facing members of the Wolfpack group as he sat on a nearby bench.
Prosecutor Richard Hill told the court: “They confronted Elliott in George Square. He said he was there to meet a friend, adding he was in love with her.”
Police were informed and Elliott was arrested later that afternoon.
Officers went on to find condoms and two mobile phones in his possession.
Elliott pleaded guilty to two charges – the first that between March 3 and May 18 last year, at an address in Aberdeenshire, he sent repeated written sexual communications to a person he believed was a 14-year- old girl, requesting she engage in sexual activity, and sent indecent messages to a child.
He also admitted making arrangements for a person he believed to be a child to meet with him with the intention of engaging in unlawful sexual activity.
Elliott had, in fact, been corresponding with an adult female.