An angry driver threatened to hunt down and kill two speed watch volunteers who caught him driving 6mph too fast.

Ross Watts, 29, was "contorted with rage" when he pulled up alongside David Blackiston and Charlie Bartlett who clocked him travelling at 36mph in a 30mph zone.

He unleashed a foul-mouthed tirade on the pair and promised to kill Mr Blackiston - an ex-police officer of 40 years - if a ticket landed on his doorstep.

Watts then screeched away from the scene in Wix, Essex, in his Mercedes, before confronting the two men for a second time just weeks later.

Describing the second incident to Colchester Magistrates, prosecutor Ashley Petchey said he began “angrily shouting and gesticulating” at the volunteers.

Mr Petchey said: "He was said to have an angry demeanour and was told he was being recorded.

“He said ‘Don’t worry, I am recording too you pathetic little man, I know where you live, I will hunt you down and sort you both out.’ “Mr Watts returned at 6.20pm, stopped his vehicle and opened his boot - prompting both to leave the area because they feared for their safety and what he might do.

“He said ‘You cowards, I’ll hunt you down.’ "This left the victim feeling unsafe in his own home and he contacted the police."

The court was told Watts, who has eight previous convictions for 11 offences, suffers with anger issues and never intended to carry out his threats.

He admitted three counts of using threatening behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Blackiston said: “When the male first threatened to kill me and my family and hunt us down I felt immediate fear.

“I was terrified he would be able to find me through social media and carry out his threats.

“In the second incident when he was opening his boot, we don’t know what’s in there. I was afraid he was going to hit me with a weapon.

“The male is much younger than myself, I would never be able to defend myself against him.

“All I am doing is trying to promote road safety."

Watts' lawyer, Selenda Dines said Watts deeply regretted his actions and would seek help for his anger issues.

“He describes it as a reaction to someone jumping out at him with a speed camera just before a 60mph zone," she said.

“When in a stressful situation he doesn’t stop to think about the consequences or another route.

“He says that is just the way his family are and the way it has always been."

Watts, of Great Oakley, was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He must also pay a total of £370 in fines, court costs and compensation to the victims.

Mark Paget, chairman of the bench, told him: “What you did could have landed you in very, very serious trouble and we certainly considered a custodial sentence.

“We have two gentlemen here who are public spirited, trying to reduce accidents and encourage road safety in the area.

“From hearing the victim impact statement they are in fear of doing it and may no longer do it, which would be an awful shame.

“These gentlemen were doing a job for the community and for them to be put in such fear is not on.”