An Englishman who cruised around schools targeting young girls has claimed moving to Scotland turned him into a sex pest.

Waqas Mahmood told a court that the stress caused by moving north of the border had sparked him into luring children to watch him carry out a sex act.

Despite being deemed to be at "high risk" of committing more sex offences, Mahmood was allowed to walk free from court after confirming he had moved back to England.

His solicitor told Perth Sheriff Court: "This is his first conviction. He only lived here for four or five months prior to these allegations.

"Mr Mahmood struggled to cope with the transition, having moved to Scotland. Since the trial he has moved to Bury. He has no plans to return to Scotland."

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis said he was "not the slightest bit surprised" that a jury had found Mahmood guilty of luring children to his car and performing sex acts.

He said: "The report says he is at high risk of being convicted of further sexual offences."

He placed Mahmood on the Sex Offenders Register and under social work supervision for three years, and ordered him to carry out 280 hours unpaid work.

Married Mahmood, who repeatedly searched for children to expose himself to, claimed he was his wife's carer and she would not be able to look after their two children if he was locked up.

Mahmood claimed he was the victim of mistaken identity but the jury unanimously rejected his claim after being told his DNA was found on semen-stained items within the car.

The 28-year-old called girls aged 13 over to his car to "ask for directions" but as they approached they could see he was carrying out a sex act.

The jury heard how Mahmood had parked close to a secondary school in Perth and was found behaving in a similar way in a neighbouring street five days later.

Mahmood, aged 27, formerly of Muirend Road, Perth, was found guilty of carrying out a sex act in front of two 13-year-old girls in Viewlands Road, Perth, on 22 March last year.

The jury also found him guilty of exposing himself to a 15-year-old girl in Viewlands Road West on 27 March. Both offences took place close to Perth Academy and Perth High School.

They heard how Mahmood was "meandering" around the neighbourhood in his black BMW before pulling in and calling a pair of young girls over to his car.

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told the court: "He's a man just unable to control himself in the presence of teenage girls.

"He drives round the streets of Perth for young girls to expose himself to for his own sexual gratification."

One of the 13-year-old girls told the jury: "My friend went to the window, then we realised what he was doing.

"He was playing with himself. He was looking all about the place while he was playing with himself.

"He was looking at both of us. I felt weird after I had seen that. I told my guidance teacher and she phoned the police."

Her friend said: "He was looking at me while he was touching his private parts."