A PAEDOPHILE who attacked a girl he didn't know on a country road while on licence from a prison sentence for sex crimes has been sent back to jail.

Nathan McCracken, 27, pulled up alongside the 16-year-old girl as she was walking alone in June this year, grabbed her behind and sexually assaulted her, said Katy Rafter, prosecuting, at York Crown Court.

He said he was “horny” and hadn’t had sex for five to six months.

During the lengthy incident he twice lifted her off her feet, grabbed her from behind as she tried to walk off, offered her money and frightened her into giving him her telephone number, said Ms Rafter.

The incident ended when a man came out of a nearby property and McCracken drove off.

She was very distressed by what happened and now feels scared walking to school.

McCracken, of Commercial Street, Norton, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and was jailed for 16 months.

He was also banned from approaching any girl or woman on their own for life, among other restrictions under a sexual harm prevention order

For McCracken, Eddison Flint said: “He seeks to apologise to her unreservedly. He never wished to cause any of the distress (she suffered)”.

He was having difficulty coping with the grief for his grandparents’ death and the incident happened on the anniversary of his grandmother’s death.

Ms Rafter said the victim was walking along the road when McCracken pulled up and said she was so beautiful and her figure was such that he had to stop.

During the incident, he offered her a lift home, which she declined.

He later sent the victim texts apologising for his actions.

“Only a custodial sentence can be made for attacking a lone female out on a summer’s evening in this way,” Judge Simon Hickey said.

At the end of the incident McCracken had told the victim “to be careful, presumably because of people like you.”

The judge agreed with a probation officer there was a risk of McCracken causing serious sexual harm in future to young women and girls.

McCracken was under probation supervision at the time, having been released partway through a prison sentence passed in April 2019 for attempting to incite a child to commit sexual acts, the court heard