A DANGEROUS sex offender who molested a vulnerable five-year-old girl has been sentenced to 10 years.

Peter McGow was caught sexually assaulting the youngster by the child’s stunned father at a property in Bournemouth last May.

McGow, aged 68, who has a history of sexual offences, was heard telling a neighbour afterwards: "I’ve dropped myself in it again.”

Sentencing McGow to five years in prison, with an extended sentence of an additional five years, Judge Peter Johnson, at Bournemouth Crown Court, on Friday, said: "You’ve pleaded guilty but there's no remorse in this case.

"You are not sorry for what you've done, you've tried to minimise what you've done.

"In my judgement it is clear you will continue to harbour a desire to molest young, female children and that will endure for many years."

Earlier the court heard how the father of the young victim entered McGow's room to check on his daughter, to be confronted with the youngster and McGow, both fully clothed, laying side-by-side on the bed.

The stunned father watched in horror as he realised McGow’s hands were down the front of his daughter’s leggings.

After getting his child to safety he immediately called the police.

McGow's DNA was later found inside the waistband of the child's underwear.

McGow, at a previous court hearing, had pleaded guilty to the offence of sexual assault on a child under the age of 13, namely a girl aged five.

Earlier the court also heard McGow had a history of sex offences, dating back to 1980, when he was sentenced at a Newcastle court on four counts of indecent assaults on females under the age of 14, and attempted intercourse with a girl under the age of 13.

The court also heard how McGow had first befriended the girl’s mother.

Her mother, through a victim impact statement, said she was “sick to her stomach” about the situation, especially as it was she who let McGow into her life.

Judge Johnson said the sentence was "necessary to protect the public, particularly young female children".