A MAN who tried to lure a 15-year-old girl for sex has been spared jail.

Creepy Jose Sanchez was caught by a vigilante group, who call themselves the Wolf Pack Hunters, posing online as an underage girl.

He sent explicit messages and indecent pictures of himself before he was apprehended by cameras on the street outside an Ayr hotel, where he said he’d meet her.

Ayr Advertiser: Jose SanchezJose Sanchez

The Spanish national has since been residing in a holiday home on Eglinton Terrace but was staying at the Mercure Hotel where he was planning to meet a child after four weeks of messaging online.

The 33-year-old pounced using an app called Skout - used for meeting people online - where he came across the vigilante group pretending to be a 15-year-old girl called Chloe.

Depute Fiscal Ed Sheeran told the court: “ She [the sting] was acting as a female decoy, as a 15-year-old girl.

“On August 9 2018 while she was posing as the 15-year-old female, she received a chat notification.”

Mr Sheeran explained how Sanchez continued talking to the girl over four weeks where “she made repeated reference to Chloe as 15.”

Some of the creep’s disturbing messages were read out in court where he asked questions such as “And have sex? When it is illegal?” and: “You never had sex?”

Mr Sheeran continued to read a list of messages sent by Sanchez that made repeated reference to sex acts before sending a picture of his private parts. Most messages read out are too graphic to print.

Defending Sanchez, his solicitor Ms Lauren Fowler told the court: “As Mr Sanchez first appeared he was presented at Ayr Police Station on a daily basis. It was always his intention to tender a plea of guilty.

“The app, it should be for people over 18.”

Speaking of the vigilante group, Ms Fowler added: “It’s specifically designed to make him believe he is speaking to someone underage.

“The chats themselves were largely innocuous. They were talking about meals and haircuts.”

Ms Fowler also described that “there was a lot of encouragement from this group and they were encouraging him to make him think she was interested.” The solicitor also suggested a monetary fine may be appropriate and if this was the case Sanchez would remain on the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

Sheriff John Montgomery placed Sanchez on a Community Payback Order where he will carry out 200 hours of unpaid work as an alternative to custody. He told him: “I have taken all matters into account including the gravity of the statutory offences and said this against your previous unblemished record. Your cooperation with police on this matter and the circumstances. I have decided that a custodial sentence is not necessary.”

Vigilante group Wolf Pack UK were startled at Sanchez avoiding jail. Speaking on their behalf, Olivier Braid said: “We’re totally perplexed at the judge’s decisions at the moment - even people getting found guilty at trial with previous are just getting unpaid work at the moment, really not sure what’s changed when last year we were getting proper jail sentences.”