A SEX offender has been warned he faces custody for sending threatening emails to a teenager and a letter to her family - after having illegal intercourse with the girl when she was 14.

Freddie Pritchard, 27, was told the prison door is "very much ajar” when he appeared in court last week after admitting causing fear and alarm to the same girl, then aged between 15 and 17, between May 25, 2021 and January 25 this year. 

He admitted continuing contact with her by repeatedly sending her emails of a threatening or abusive manner from his home address in the Stair area. 

He also sent a letter addressed to the girl and her family

The offence was aggravated because it involved abuse of a partner or former partner – while at the time it was committed, he was the subject of four separate bail orders issued at Ayr Sheriff Court.

Pritchard had been ordered not to delete his search history from any device as part of a punishment for engaging in sexual activity with the girl in Ayrshire on various occasions between June 4 and July 16, 2020. 

Pritchard had admitted kissing the girl, removing her clothing and having sex with her while she was too young to consent. 

But he later contacted the same girl by email on various occasions on July 26, 2020 – having been made the subject of a bail order nine days earlier. 

Pritchard later admitted restoring the factory settings on his mobile phone and deleting all of his internet history on May 12, 2021. 

When Pritchard returned to court last week, defence solicitor John Gallagher said: “It’s the most positive report since [the social worker’s] involvement with him. I don’t think it’s any coincidence the report was prepared at a time he was on remand. 

“That was a significant moment - perhaps a watershed. I would invite consideration of an onerous community-based disposal."

Sheriff Mhairi MacTaggart told Mr Gallagher she was concerned about Pritchard's attitude, as laid out in the social work reports, saying the female complainer had been “subjected to appalling behaviour”. 

Sheriff MacTaggart said: "What concerns me is this sea change for Mr Pritchard comes from his period on remand and how unpleasant he found that.”

She also questioned whether he would reoffend the further he gets from his time behind bars.

The sheriff added: "The door to custody is very much ajar. He knows full well custody is the obvious disposal and it will take the court some persuasion."

Mr Gallagher added: "All I can say is perhaps Mr Pritchard was disarmingly honest. I wouldn't use the phrase too honest.  He may have volunteered so much he caused concerns.”

Further deferring sentence to have the social worker present in court to address her concerns, Sheriff MacTaggart told Pritchard: “Don’t think for a moment you are out of the deep, deep trouble you are in.  

“Mr Gallagher is going to have a very frank conversation with you. 

“You have got to impress upon me this is not going to happen again. 

“Remember one thing: you are not above the law. You are not the victim; someone else is.”