A CONVICTED paedophile is facing the prospect of a long prison sentence after he admitted sexually abusing a four-year-old Bradford girl.

Karl Jones failed to disclose to his probation officer in the south west of England that he was under investigation by West Yorkshire Police for molesting the girl when he appeared before Bournemouth Crown Court last year for downloading child pornography, it was heard yesterday.

He was spared custody by the judge who also did not know, Bradford Crown Court was told.

Jones, 35, pleaded guilty yesterday, the day he was due to stand trial, to sexually assaulting the girl between January 31 and April 1, 2013.

He had been sentenced in Bournemouth last September to a three year sex offender treatment programme in the community for possession of indecent photographs of a child.

Judge Jonathan Rose said it was a troubling case and warned Jones that "a substantial prison sentence is not out of the question" for "this terrible offence against a small child".

Both a probation officer in Bristol and the sentencing judge at Bournemouth Crown Court had been misled, he said.

Judge Rose adjourned sentencing until August 22, saying he wanted a new probation report to fully assess the risk Jones posed to children.

He noted Jones's guilty plea had spared his young victim the ordeal of having to give evidence and the fact the defendant had not committed any offences since and he had begun to engage with the sex offender treatment programme.

Judge Rose told Jones: "This is a deeply troubling situation. The author of the probation report was unaware that you had been arrested for sexually assaulting a four-year-old child.

"You were being investigated for indecent images offences when you committed this terrible offence against a small child."

In mitigation, Jones's barrister, Giles Bridge, said his client had no previous history of offending of any kind.

Judge Rose renewed Jones's bail on condition he lives and sleeps every night at Belluton Road, Knowle, Bristol, and does not contact the victim or her family.

He must sign on the sex offenders' register and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order will be prepared for finalisation at the next hearing.