A self-confessed paedophile has been jailed for sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl at a seaside resort on August Bank Holiday Sunday.

Glen Pearson had become addicted to watching child abuse videos on the internet and turned his fantasy into reality by touching one girl and trying to abduct another.

The two children had been playing in the street together when they were approached by Pearson, who was staying in a flat nearby.

He sexually assaulted the five-year-old girl and tried to persuade her nine-year-old friend to come home with him.

The incident had a profound effect on both girls, who started having nightmares and became more insecure and clingy, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Pearson, aged 56, of High Street, Bideford, admitted assault of a child by penetration and attempted abduction and was jailed for five years and four months by Judge Peter Johnson.

The judge imposed a one-year extended licence, put him on the sex offenders register for life, and made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which forbids future contact with children and enables police to monitor his online activity.

He told him: "For many years you have been a paedophile with a sexual interest in children, demonstrated in part by your long-standing habit of viewing images of young children online.

"You told police that ten was the lower age limit for you but to all intents and purposes you have been able to manage this tendency in the past by a number of strategies and sought help to try to deal with the problem.

"You have not been helped by a dependency on alcohol and you were under the influence when you came upon these girls."

Rachel Drake, prosecuting, said the two offences happened at around 6pm on August 25 when the girls and one boy were playing near the flats where Pearson was staying.

The five-year-old went back to her mother and told her that a man had touched 'her bits' and the nine-year-old told her father that the same man had asked her to go back to a flat with him.

He had asked her to leave her brother, who had been out with her, and go with him, but she had found an excuse and gone home.

Pearson admitted to police that he is likely to have sexually assaulted her if she had gone to the flat.

The mother of the five-year-old made a victim statement saying her daughter used to be a confident and brave child but is now clingy and suffering from nightmares.

The father of the other girl said she is 'shell-shocked' and has also become clingy and less confident.

Lee Bremridge, defending, said Pearson had been very frank to police and told them he was a paedophile. He had already sought help for his interest in child abuse images and sexual attraction to children.

He had also sought help for his drinking but was so heavily under the influence on the Bank Holiday Sunday that he had little memory of what he did.