PROTESTORS gathered outside the home of a Prestonpans man last week after he had admitted sexually assaulting a 10-year-old schoolgirl during a court appearance.

John Boyd, 54, pleaded guilty to sending sexual written communications to a child and sexually assaulting the girl at a house in Midlothian on August 5 last year.

Sentence was deferred on Boyd following his appearance in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday, September 15.

The following evening, a large crowd of angry residents congregated outside his home on the town’s Drummore Drive demanding his removal from the area.

During the demonstration, a 38-year-old man was arrested and appeared at the Capital court on Thursday.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were called around 7.10pm on Wednesday, September 16, to a report of a disturbance in Prestonpans.

“A 38-year-old man was arrested and charged in connection with the incident and was due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday.”

HGV driver Boyd – who has two previous convictions for similar offences – pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the youngster by kissing her on the mouth and fondling her buttocks.

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He also sent the girl scores of text and WhatsApp messages declaring his love for her and telling her she was “beautiful”.

The court was told that the serial offender told the girl he wanted to take her on dates to the cinema and for her to pretend she was his girlfriend during the grooming sessions.

Fiscal Anna Robertson said that during the sexual assault, Boyd told the youngster “she was a good kisser and then said: ‘I will go to jail if you tell as I’m too old’”.

The terrified girl later broke down in tears and confessed to her mother what had happened while the pair had been alone and the police were called in. Police officers were then shown the sexual messages that Boyd had sent to the 10-year-old girl’s phone and he was arrested at about 3am on August 6 last year.

He will return to court for sentencing on October 23.