A paedophile who stalked two youngsters in an Angus village has been warned he is in “distinct danger” of going to jail.
Philip Robertson was snared by police after the dad of one of his victims found the 61-year-old’s footprints in the snow around his home in the village of Charleston, near Glamis.
Robertson had been living there at the time of the offences late last year and has now had sentence deferred after a sheriff said justice would not be served by sending him to jail for a short stretch.
He previously served a prison sentence in Bulgaria for sexual offences against young girls in the Sunny Beach holiday resort.
The accused, now of Guild Street, Aberdeen, appeared for sentence before Sheriff Gregor Murray at Forfar having previously admitted stalking the children on various occasions between October 1 2019 and January 29 this year.
He pleaded guilty to causing a boy and girl, both aged 11 at the time, fear and alarm by repeatedly being outside their home, entering into their garden and loitering there and repeatedly approaching the girl and engaging her in conversation.
Police tracked down Robertson after the girl’s father had found boot prints in the snow outside their home, then chased him through the village the following day after seeing the accused loitering at the house.
Notices were pinned up in the quiet village warning people of Robertson living in their midst when the stalking incidents happened.
The court heard Robertson is currently being monitored under a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
Sheriff Murray said: “In short, this looks like a serious offence, but as a serious offence it is at the lower end of the scale.
“As the social work report and your record recognises, you have significant problems.
“I am glad to hear that you are under being kept an eye on under a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.”
He added: “You are in distinct danger of serving a custodial sentence. “I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater just by imposing a custodial sentence because I can’t do something else in the current circumstances.”
Sentence was deferred on Robertson until April next year when a tagging order report will be prepared for the court.