A FORMER Leigh man who sexually abused a four-year-old girl has been jailed for five years.

The offences involving the little girl took place more than a decade ago but it was only in October, 2012, that she revealed to police what had happened to her.

Her attacker, Anthony Cope, was arrested and denied her claims but he was convicted after a trial earlier this year.

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court convicted him of nine offences of sexual assault and jailing him Judge Alan Conrad, QC, said he was satisfied that the offences occurred regularly.

He ordered 46-year-old Cope, of Truro, Cornwall, to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

Emily Cook, defending, said that Cope, who has no previous convictions, maintains his innocence.

He is the carer for his elderly mother, who would have to go into a nursing home if he is jailed, and his partner and their two children will find life difficult without him, she said.