A PAEDOPHILE caged for historic child abuse who dodged more jail time for preying on another girl over a period of six years has made a "good start" to his community sentence.

Sex offender Richard Thornhill, 65, returned to the dock last week after being placed on supervision for his crime.

Thornhill pleaded guilty last year to carrying out lewd, indecent and libidinous acts in Troon between November 25, 1989 and November 25, 1996, while in a position of trust over a girl who at the time was aged between six and 11.

But he was put on a community payback order and ordered by a judge to face up to his "heinous breach of trust".

Thornhill entered the girl’s bedroom and put his hand in her underwear and, on one occasion, sexually assaulted her.

On another occasion, he exposed himself to the same victim and tried to make her take part in an indecent act.

Defence solicitor Ian Gillies told Ayr Sheriff Court last year that Thornhill was serving a prison sentence on another matter, but was due to be housed in temporary accommodation outside Troon on his release.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Mhairi MacTaggart said: “What you did was a heinous breach of trust. You need to face up to what you did.”

As part of his community order, Thornhill was told he must take part in the Moving Forward, Making Changes programme, which is aimed at addressing sex offenders’ behaviour.

When he returned to Ayr Sheriff Court on Tuesday, April 11, Mr Gillies said Thornhill was now six months into his three year community payback order, and that the review report from social workers was "pretty positive".

Sheriff MacTaggart said: "It's a good start but a long [community payback] order.

"The programme will become more intensive in the next couple of months."

Thornhill will return for another review later in the year.