vigilantes took their revenge on a paedophile who preyed on girls as young as eight, a Doncaster court heard.
Sexual predator Michael Wilsher suffered rough justice at the hands of a gang of men who beat him up to the point he needed hospital treatment after some of his victims finally spoke up.
Wilsher, a father of three girls now in their teens, pleaded guilty to six charges of sexual assault on girls under 13, who were aged from eight to 11. The offences, which he admitted, went on until 2009.
Lisa Roberts, defending, said feelings ran high when the offences came to light and said events culminated in him being attacked by a group of six men.
She said: “His van was smashed up and he was hospitalised as a direct result of his offending.
“He has lost an awful lot, his wife, his children, and he deeply regrets his behaviour and actions.”
Judge Jacqueline Davies, sentencing Wilsher to four-and-a-half years in jail with an extended period of four years on licence, said he posed a significant risk to the public of serious physical or emotional injury if he committed further offences.
The judge told the 44-year-old: “Your new offences began only a short time after a conviction in February 2004 and show an emerging pattern of behaviour.”
Nicola Peers, prosecuting, told the court one of the girls sexually assaulted by Wilsher said she ‘felt sick because it felt so creepy’.
Some of the girls told their mothers but they decided not to tell the authorities for the sake of their children.
But the facts emerged and he was reported to police.
He initially denied the allegations and said the girls were making them up - but pleaded guilty when the case reached Doncaster Crown Court.
Miss Peers said Wilsher initially was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register in 2004 when he was convicted of inciting a 10-year-old girl to commit an act of gross indecency at a market stall.
The girls’ parents were shocked to hear the railway supervisor was already on the Register for a previous offence when he started committing the sexual assaults at his home on Daw Lane, Bentley, in 2004.
After the hearing, one father of Wilsher’s victims criticised the sentence as too short.
He said: “Four and a half years is nothing - I’m disgusted. The sentence is not long enough for what he did.
“The feeling in the community is very strong, and I think he should have been put away for 10 years.”