A JOHNSTONE man who tried to lure two young girls from a cycle path has dodged a prison sentence.

Jason Brown, 47, pounced on the girls, aged eight and nine, when they disappeared from their parents’ sight for a few seconds.

Scar-faced Brown, who has 27 previous convictions, emerged from a nearby riverbank, asked the primary school pupils their names and said he would take them away from the path.

But the girls cycled off and raised the alarm.

The details emerged last month when Brown appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court in a trial over the events of August 9, 2017.

He was accused of attempting to abduct the girls from the cycle track in Elderslie on the day in question.

Brown, formerly of Floorsburn Crescent, Johnstone, and now living in Old Road, Elderslie, also faced an alternative charge of committing a breach of the peace – and pleaded guilty to this offence.

Sheriff David Pender had called for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing and Brown was released on bail. When he returned to the dock last week to learn his fate, he was spared jail by Sheriff Pender.

Instead, Brown was placed on a Community Payback Order that will see him carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within six months and undergo alcohol counselling when directed to do so.

He will also be supervised by social workers for 18 months.