A depraved Scout leader has been branded a danger to children and jailed for two years for molesting a ten-year-old girl.

Gareth Inglis, 39, asked the child not to tell her mother after sexually assaulting her in the Keighley area on April 8 this year, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Police searching his home found indecent images of young girls, including a picture of a child aged between five and ten being sexually abused by a man.

Inglis, of Ribblesdale Estate, Long Preston, near Skipton, pleaded guilty to sexual touching and possessing four indecent images of children.

Prosecutor Jayne Beckett told the court Inglis said he felt suicidal and physically sick after molesting the girl, who was not a member of the Scouts.

Mrs Beckett said that police searching Inglis’s home after his arrest also found depraved fantasy stories involving young girls, torture, a dog and group sex.

In a statement to the court, the girl’s mother said she had been a bubbly girl but was now unable to sleep and had lost confidence. Nikki Peers, barrister for Inglis, said he had pleaded guilty and was of good character.

It was a game that went too far and he deeply regretted it.

The police had made a thorough investigation and not uncovered any more allegations of sexual abuse.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said Inglis’s probation officer found that he posed “a clear and very serious risk to children.”

He was a troubled man who had caused deep injury to his victim and her family. The judge said that jailing Inglis sent a message that the courts would not tolerate such behaviour.

Inglis must sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and the judge made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order without limit of time.