Kevin Trethewey pleaded guilty to four offences concerning a girl under the age of 13, which happened on two separate occasions, the most recent of which was in October last year.
He pleaded not guilty to one count of raping the girl and this charge was dropped as there was no evidence to suggest it had happened.
The court heard how Trethewey had been drinking when the most recent incident happened and had cut his face with a razor blade afterwards.
He also said in police interviews, it emerged, that he was “sickened” by what he had done, that he had been driven by his own needs, and “hates himself”.
The court also heard that the girl’s mother has recurring dreams about it happening again.
Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said: “This is a deeply distressing case. It is impossible for ordinary people to understand quite how you could be sexually aroused [by a young child]. But sexually aroused you were and although I’m sure you’re deeply ashamed of your conduct, it remains to be seen what effect your conduct will have on [your victim].
“Experiences in these courts suggest, in my accounts of the sexual abuse of children, the psychological scar remains for a long time and may affect her life.
“I hope it doesn’t in this case but at the moment there is no way of knowing – sooner or later she will learn the truth, unfortunately.”
Trethewey was sentenced to four years in prison, slapped with a ten-year sexual offences prevention order and ordered to sign the sexual offenders register for an indefinite period.
This is Cornwall