49-year-old in court following anti-grooming vigilante group sting in Hawick

Bourtree Place in Hawick.
Bourtree Place in Hawick.

A 49-year-old man alleged to have attempted to groom someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl online over a three-month period has been charged with breaching communications laws.

Douglas Watkins was arrested by police in Hawick last Thursday, December 13, following an undercover sting by vigilantes targeting suspected paedophiles.

Watkins, of Cheviot Road in Hawick, was confronted by members of Wolf Pack Hunters UK outside the town’s Bourtree pub and accused of a catalogue of grooming offences.

That confrontation in Bourtree Place has since been viewed more than 37,000 times on the group’s Facebook page.

In the film posted on Facebook, the man denies the allegations made against him.

The police were called to Bourtree Place by the group and arrested him.

He appeared in private at Selkirk Sheriff Court yesterday, December 17. No plea was made, and the case was continued for further examination.

Watkins was released on bail with special conditions.

Earlier this month, the same anti-grooming group carried out a similar sting snaring Peter Mulvey, of Galashiels, in Edinburgh.

The 41-year-old was arrested and went on to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to face two charges of breaching communications laws.