A PENSIONER who sexually abused his granddaughter was caught when her father spotted him touching her on CCTV.

The dad was at work when he logged onto cameras positioned inside his home and saw the 69-year-old, who was looking after the child and her siblings, with his hand on her private parts.

Andrew Mackintosh, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court: "He used his mobile phone to link to a camera that he had had installed as part of a security system in his living room.

"He saw [his daughter] sat on the couch with the defendant sat next to her."

Mr Mackintosh added that the father heard the grandfather tell other children to play in the kitchen and then saw him move his hand underneath her leg.

The father called his wife who, at first thought nothing was happening, but the dad continued to watch and the grandfather again told other children to go and play.

"The defendant then got up, shut the door and began touching her as he had before," said Mr Mackintosh.

"Later that evening her father asked [the girl] if the defendant had been touching her. She nodded her head and said it had been happening every day that week.

"She said that she loved her grandfather but didn't like what he was doing to her."

The court heard how the girl has learning difficulties and, as her parents work, grandparents helped with childcare.

She later revealed that her grandfather had touched her breasts and private parts on several occasions.

When her parents confronted the grandfather he initially denied wrongdoing.

"But when told cameras were in the house he admitted it.

"[The child's] mother asked why but he said he didn't know," said Mr Mackintosh.

" He then said he had just been tickling her down there to make her laugh. That he was depressed and knew that he had done wrong."

The parents contacted police and, when interviewed, the girl said she had felt "uncomfortable and scared" when touched by her grandfather on several occasions over a two year period.

On one occasion she said that the grandfather had put a coat over her so her siblings, who were in the same room, could not see what he was doing.

And on another occasion he forced her to touch his private parts inside his trousers.

"The defendant told her that it made him feel younger," said Mr Mackintosh.

When police went to the grandfather's home he told officers he had been expecting them.

The grandfather, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault on a child under the age of 13, three counts of sexual assault and one charge of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

In a victim statement the girl's father told the Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh, that the grandfather's actions had "changed this family forever."

"I don't think she appreciates the gravity of what happened to her. This just shows her vulnerability," he added.

"She was taken advantage of by someone who was supposed to love and look after her. Someone who we trusted. He took advantage of all of us to satisfy his selfish and perverted needs."

David Morton, defending, said the grandfather, who has no previous convictions, is "truly ashamed and regretful for this behaviour".

Judge Walsh sentenced the pensioner to five years and four months in prison, telling him: "Cases of this sort can have an enduring psychological impact on the victim.

"It is clear from the victim impact statement that, although your granddaughter, at this stage, may not fully understand or appreciate the gravity of what took place, with increasing maturity, there is the distinct possibility that that may happen."