A ‘VILE’ man who sexually assaulted a five-year-old girl in woods near a Dorset caravan park has been jailed.

Robert Anthony John Wade, 65, was sentenced to 31 months in prison after admitting four sexual offences at Dorchester Crown Court.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 13 and two charges of sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Wade was later sentenced to a further 12 weeks in prison after admitting possessing indecent images of children and extreme pornographic images that were found on his computer after his home in Surrey was searched following his arrest.

Heather Shimmen, prosecuting, told the court that the sexual assaults occurred at the Norden Farm caravan park near Corfe Castle on the weekend of July 19 last year.

She said the defendant was walking in woods with the girl when he exposed himself and began pleasuring himself.

Miss Shimmen said Wade also touched the young girl over her clothing.

She said later that weekend the defendant returned to the same spot with the girl and repeated the sexual act after he had ‘pulled her towards him by her waist’ and again touched her over her clothing.

When interviewed about the matters by police Wade admitted pleasuring himself in the woods but said he did not realise the girl was in the vicinity.

He denied he was sexually attracted to the girl.

Miss Shimmen said the girl’s parents had expressed relief at Wade’s admissions and the fact that their daughter would not have to go to court to give evidence.

Rufus Taylor, mitigating, said fork lift truck driver Wade, of Rankine Close, Badshotlea, Farnham, Surrey, had not been in trouble with the courts for some 30 years and it was for wholly different matters.

He said: “The only mitigation in this case is that he finally came to his senses and pleaded guilty.

“It’s the only good point I can put forward on his behalf, that he has at least now stopped the victim from having to come to court.”

Judge Roger Jarvis described the offences as ‘deplorable’ and said Wade had ‘vilely abused’ his victim.

As well as sentencing Wade to a total of 31 months in prison, the judge also placed him on the sex offenders’ register for life and made the defendant subject to a sexual offences prevention order until further notice.