A PREDATORY paedophile used a dog and an Etch a Sketch to befriend little girls before sexually assaulting them, a court heard.
Samuel Smith, 29, caused terror among residents in Castleford as he preyed on children in the town earlier this summer.
Leeds Crown Court heard Smith targeted girls as they were playing out in the street or in local parks.
On another occasion Smith took an indecent photograph of one of his victims.
Smith was jailed for seven years yesterday and told he must serve an extended licence period of three years after being released from custody because of the danger he poses to youngsters.
Smith, of Greek Street, continued to offend after being arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a five year old girl in Leeds and was released on bail. He was arrested again on June 6 this year and found to have more than 16,000 images of children on computers at his home.
Smith pleaded guilty to seven offences of sexual assault on a child under 13 and 12 offences of possessing or making indecent images of children.
On one occasion Smith approached two girls with a dog in a park in Castleford and let them play on an Etch A Sketch toy.
The court heard one of the girls let out a “blood curdling scream” when he later sexually assaulted her.
Smith sexually assaulted sex victims in total aged between four and seven.
Jailing Smith, judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “It is perfectly obvious to me that each of these occasions was planned and in some of them you went equipped in order to attach yourself to children with the use of a dog. These offences have had a psychological affect, not only on the children but also on the parents.
Insp Dave Bugg, Neighbourhood Policing Team inspector for Castleford, added: “Smith’s actions caused real distress among residents in Castleford and I want to thank residents for keeping calm during our enquiries to find him in what was a very testing time.”