West Lothian man admits setting fire to paedophile’s car during mob siege

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A man has admitted setting a convicted paedophile’s car alight in West Lothian.

Paul McDaid, 37, pleaded guilty to wilfully setting fire to the Vauzhall Zafira in Mayfield Drive, Armadale on 26 June last year.

Livingston Sheriff Court

Livingston Sheriff Court

Video of the blazing vehicle was streamed live on social media sites Facebook and Snapchat as a mob besieged the home of sex offender Kenneth Long.

Long, 53, was jailed for 18 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years after he admitted sexually communicatiing with a man pretending to be a 12-year-old boy.

He later complained in court about being hounded out of his home by vigilantes connected to the anti paedophile group Wolf Pack Hunters and living in fear of retribution.

During the near riot over 100 people gathered outside Long’s home chanting ‘get him out’ and one of the protesters broke into his house and confronted his then partner.

At Livingston Sheriff Court on Monday, McDaid, of Lower Bathville, Armadale, pled guilty to starting the fire which destroyed the interior of the car on 26 June, 2018.

Prosecutor Jim Robertson moved for sentence and produced a list of the accused’s previous convictions.

He told the court: “Looking at the schedule I don’t think a custodial sentence has been imposed previously.”

The Crown narrative of events on the day of the offence and defence lawyer Glenn Campbell’s plea in mitigation will be given before sentence is passed.

Sheriff Peter Hammond said: “Due to the serious nature of the charge a report will be inevitable.”

Turning to McDaid, he said: “I’ll defer sentence for a criminal justice social work report and a restriction of liberty order assessment.

“Your bail will be continued until sentencing on 2 May.”

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