A PAEDOPHILE has been jailed for sexually molesting a young girl more than a decade ago.

Judge Robert Warnock told James Arthur Franklin, who has a previous similar conviction, "The simple fact is you are a paedophile attracted to pre-pubescent females.

"You are in denial and less likely to be amenable to treatment.

"I regard you as a real danger to pre-pubescent females and you have shown no remorse or insight."

He added that Franklin, who showed no emotion, seemed to believe the "truly pathetic reasoning" he had given at trial to back up his denials.

Judge Warnock said that 12 years ago Franklin began by grooming the girl by exploiting her interest in horses and his sexual abuse of the child, when she was eight or nine, escalated in seriousness.

He added: “Although I hope it is not the case it does appear that her psychological harm is permanent.”

Frankin, of Peak Avenue, Atherton, was convicted in April of one offence of indecency with a child and seven of indecent assault representing a course of conduct spanning about 18 months.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the abuse stopped in November 2003 when police were informed that 51-year-old Franklin had sexually abused another young girl and in July the next year he was jailed for nine months.

After that abuse came to light, the girl was asked if he had also abused her but she was so confused and embarrassed that she made no allegations against him, said Nick Kennedy, prosecuting.

Over the ensuing years she struggled to deal with what had happened to her and it would be brought back to mind when she saw him at equestrian events with his wife.

Mr Kennedy said: “That and other factors, including the need for some release, led to her decision in February last year to tell the police about what had gone on. More mature and confident, she was able to speak about it.”

Franklin, an IT worker, was interviewed by police in April last year and denied the allegations, maintaining his innocence at trial.

But he was jailed for four and a half years.

The judge also imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and ordered Franklin to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

David Morton, defending, said Franklin had co-operated with the pre-sentence report and was using his time in prison constructively and hoping to be a "listener" for other prisoners.