A MAN from Greenock has appeared in court following his arrest by police after 'paedophile hunters' tracked him for months.

Stuart Steele, 35, is said to have been communicating for more than two months with a 25-year-old woman who was masquerading as a 14-year-old schoolgirl.

Prosecutors say that the woman repeatedly told him that she was 14 and that he made a series of sexually explicit remarks to her on social media.

It is alleged that Steele solicited the female to commit sexual acts and invited her to his flat in the east end to engage in sexual activity.

He is said to have committed the offences between August 27 and November 3.

Steele appeared from custody at Greenock Sheriff Court yesterday afternoon to plead not guilty through lawyer Edel McGinty and was allowed bail.

He was reportedly arrested after being tracked down by a group called Justice for the Innocent.

Fiscal depute Pamela Brady insisted on a series of special conditions, including one forbidding Steele from any unsupervised contact with a child under the age of 16.

He is also prevented from using any internet enabled device unless it has capacity to retain and display history of his online use.

The accused must also make any such device available for inspection by police, make no attempt to delete or disguise browsing history and not have software which enables peer-to-peer file sharing or is designed to remove files.

Steele did not speak during his custody hearing before Sheriff Andrew McIntyre and merely nodded to acknowledge that he understood all conditions of his bail.

The case is due to call again on January 22, ahead of a trial scheduled for February 25.