PROTESTORS outside the Prestonpans home of a convicted sex offender were confronted by an axe-wielding man wearing just a pair of boxer shorts.

Gary Shaw grabbed the sharp work tool from his back garden and ran out into the street to challenge the large group of locals who had congregated outside the home.

Shaw, 38, was wearing just his underwear when he was spotted in the street in possession of the axe at the town’s Drummore Drive on September 16.

Police officers were on patrol during the peaceful protest and immediately arrested Shaw while he was still carrying the bladed weapon.

Residents in the town were protesting against John Boyd, 54, who had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl at Edinburgh Sheriff Court the day previously.

Boyd, who is due to be sentenced next week, was subsequently forced to move from the property due to the protests and the windows of his house are currently boarded up.

Shaw, who lives opposite Boyd’s home at Drummore Drive, appeared in the dock at the Capital court yesterday (Thursday), where he admitted possessing the axe.

Fiscal Sarah Quinn told the court that there were about 40 protestors, including children, outside Boyd’s home when Shaw out ran into the street carrying the axe.

Ms Quinn said: “He appeared from a doorway in a pair of boxer shorts and in possession of the axe in his left hand.

“He approached the protestors and was described as agitated.”

Shaw was arrested and after he was later charged with possession of an offensive weapon, he told officers: “It was to get rid of the ***** in my street.”

Solicitor Gillian Koren said that her client had been having problems with anxiety and had been self-medicating with products he had bought online.

Ms Koren added that Shaw had become angry at the protests, which had been going on for “a number of days” before he eventually snapped and approached the crowd with the axe.

The lawyer said that the protestors “were all known to him” and he had “no real recollection of events”.

Sheriff Wendy Sheehan told Shaw: “Having a weapon in a fairly volatile situation is a serious matter.”

Shaw was placed on a community payback order and told he must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Shaw admitted possessing an offensive weapon, namely an axe, at Drummore Drive, Prestonpans, on September 16.