A "prolific" sex offender who molested a Wirral schoolgirl on her way home received a nine-year sentence today.

A judge sentenced Andrew Bradshaw to seven years imprisonment with an extended licence of two years.

"Your record shows you are a prolific and determined sexual offender, in particular against girls of school age," said Judge Alan Conrad, QC.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that on November 14 last year 46-year-old Bradshaw parked up near a pathway in Bidston.

"You decided to take advantage of the fact it was the time of day that school girls would be on their way home.

"You parked up and lay in wait on a quiet residential road and there you saw your victim walking past.

"You got out of your car and followed her down the path and caught up with her and subjected her to a frightening and distressing sexual assault," said Judge Conrad.

After she began screaming and pushed him away, Bradshaw, a painter and decorator, ran to his distinctive black Peugeot 106 and drove back to a house in Chester, where he was working to help establish his alibi.

Bradshaw, of Hoole Way, Chester, denied sexual assault and breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, but was convicted by a jury.

The court heard he has convictions in 2002 and last year for indecent exposure and had been jailed for seven years in 2004 for indecently assaulting six women and girls.

He has also been convicted of possessing extreme porn.

Simon Killeen, defending, said that Bradshaw, who was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life, had dropped his daughter off and the offence had been opportunistic during a small window of opportunity.

Detective Constable Andy Cullen, said: "Bradshaw committed despicable offences against his young victim and thankfully she plucked up the courage to report her ordeal. Her bravery in coming forward means that Bradshaw has now been brought to justice.

"Bradshaw now has seven years in jail to reflect on the torment he put his victim through and the lasting impact it will have on her and her family for the rest of her their lives.

"Hopefully this sentencing will bring her and her family some closure now that justice has been done.

"This was a very thorough investigation by officers from the force. I would like to thank all of those involved in the investigative process who have worked so hard to bring this man to justice."