A SEX offender abused a five-year-old child under the eyes of social workers, York Crown Court heard.

Despite being challenged about his actions, within a month Gavin Maxwell Watson-Crowley again behaved in a sexual way before children while social services staff watched.

Today the pervert is preparing for a jail sentence, after a jury convicted him of two sexual offences involving youngsters.

“I have to determine whether you are… as I sincerely suspect you are, in the grip of irresistible urges, namely are you a danger to young children,” Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told him.

“Be under no illusions, offences like this in these circumstances merit imprisonment,” he said.

Watson-Crowley, 37, of Crombie Avenue, Clifton, denied four charges of sexually assaulting children and one of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of children.

After a four-day trial, the jury convicted him of the sexual activity charge and one of the sexual assault charges, and acquitted him of the rest, after three-and-a-quarter hours in retirement. He was released on bail with conditions that included keeping away from girls aged under 16 and living at a certain address. He must also sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register while probation officers prepare a report on him. He will be sentenced next month.

Opening the prosecution, Simon Kealey said a five-year-old girl was playing at an event organised by social services when Watson-Crowley picked her up and sexually assaulted her. He had permission to be at the event.

But his actions were watched by the social services employee in charge, Louise Kelly, who spoke to her colleagues about it.

Social workers challenged Watson-Crowley about it, but he denied any sexual impropriety and they allowed him to attend another children’s event later that month.

But Ms Kelly was alarmed by the way he behaved at that occasion, when the five-year-old was present with another girl, and he was later arrested. Watson-Crowley denied the allegations, calling them “absolute rubbish” and totally without truth. He disputed social workers’ accounts of conversations with him and claimed in the witness box that the social services staff had misinterpreted his actions and that matters had “got twisted”.

After the verdict, the judge told him the social workers’ evidence “was manifestly honest, accurate and sensible, notwithstanding your suggestion”.