THE sentence handed to a sex offender from Prestonpans will be reviewed after a local councillor asked for it to be appealed.

Councillor Lachlan Bruce, who is also leader of the opposition on East Lothian Council, wrote to Lord Advocate James Wolff on October 28, five days after John Boyd’s sentencing, calling for what he said was an “unduly lenient sentence” and “lack of appropriate punishment” to be appealed by the Crown.

And the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has now stated it will put in an appeal over the sentence.

Truck driver Boyd, 54, had admitted sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that Boyd kissed her on the mouth and declared his love for her through WhatsApp and text messages, calling her “beautiful” and offering to take her out on dates which he said she should get dressed up for.

Other messages sent by Boyd included “I am in bed dreaming of you”, “I can’t wait to hold you in my arms” and “I love your lips, they are so kissable”.

When Boyd was sentenced last month, he was placed on the sex offenders' register for three years and given a community payback order containing three years of supervision; he was also ordered to attend appointments with CISSO, a specialist sex offender organisation.

Boyd has two previous convictions for similar offences.

His recent guilty plea to the latest offence resulted in protests outside his home by angry residents – he has since moved out of the property as a result.

In his letter to Mr Wolff, Mr Bruce called Boyd’s actions those of a “dangerous predator”.

In response to the sentence imposed upon Boyd, Mr Bruce said: “Now I ask you Mr Wolff, with all due respect, where is the justice in that?

“How can parents in the community of Prestonpans I represent feel safe and know their children are safe when a man like this is free to roam the streets?

“After he plead guilty, there was real concern in my community – which led to protests outside his home – at his presence in town.

“Now I do not condone what could be termed vigilantism of this sort but I can understand it when the criminal justice system is making these sorts of decisions.

“Parents and communities will naturally feel the need to keep their children safe from these sort of men.

“The sentence has been met with incredulity and dismay in the local community. I have received emails from residents and have observed this feeling in local social media groups as well.

“Therefore, I ask you to consider instructing the Crown Office to appeal the sentence given to Mr Boyd for being unduly lenient and request a lengthy custodial sentence given the seriousness of what he has done and his past record.”

Now, following the calls from Mr Bruce, Linda Cockburn, the assistant procurator fiscal for the Lothian and Borders region, told him today (Friday) that an appeal would be lodged “as a matter of urgency”.

She stated: "This case has been considered by Crown Counsel and the law officers, who have instructed that a Crown unduly lenient sentence appeal should be lodged, and this is being done by our appeals unit as a matter of urgency."

Mr Bruce has now urged the appeal court to hear the case as quickly as possible, as it is not yet known when or if it will be heard.

He said: “It is entirely the right decision that the lenient punishment Mr Boyd received now be appealed against.

“We need tough sentences to deter paedophiles from acting in morally repugnant ways like this and we also need them to take these people off the streets and out of communities.

“I would urge that this case be heard quickly by the appeal court and for this matter to be resolved once and for all.”