A MUSSELBURGH man who sparked angry protests outside his home has appeared in court to admit a charge of communicating indecently with a child.

Brian Johnstone contacted an online account in the name of a schoolgirl called Sophie Leigh and began sending sexual written communications to her.

Johnstone, 61, also requested the girl send him indecent images of herself and asked her to meet up with him, despite knowing she was only 14 years old.

But the predator was caught and arrested by police in May 2021 when the account he was in contact with turned out to be operated by an adult who was part of a group who aim to catch online child abusers.

Johnstone (pictured left), currently living in Maybole, South Ayrshire, was confronted at his flat on Watt’s Close in Musselburgh by members of a paedophile hunter group and police were eventually alerted.

Johnstone was then forced to move away from the property following several street protests organised by concerned neighbours, including a demonstration outside the council offices at the Brunton Hall.

Johnstone pleaded guilty to the offence of attempting to communicate indecently with a child between May 2 and 15, 2021, when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Tuesday.

Sheriff Morris deferred sentence on Johnstone, for the preparation of social work reports, to later this month.