A HAMPSHIRE schoolgirl was the victim of a terrifying sexual assault as she walked home from going to the shop for her mum.

The 12-year-old girl was so scared she feared she was going to be killed when she was grabbed from behind by a stranger.

Tormented by what happened to her, the youngster is now too afraid to sleep alone and finds it difficult to venture outside even with family.

In what a judge called a “planned, predatory and targeted attack”

Christopher Wildman pounced on the girl, pushed her into a driveway in Butts Road, Sholing, Southampton, and indecently assaulted her.

Caging the 32-year-old dad-to-be for ten years, Judge Gary Burrell QC branded him a predator who posed a serious risk to girls.

Southampton Crown Court heard how unemployed Wildman, of Botley Gardens, Sholing, had spotted the girl, wearing her school uniform, as he drove along the road at 4pm on September 20 last year.

Knowing what he was about to do, he parked his car in another street, out of sight of CCTV cameras, crept up behind the girl and grabbed her.

At first she assumed it was her dad but when she turned around she did not recognise the man and, assuming she was being robbed, she offered him her mobile phone and money.

But Wildman had another motive and subjected her to a horrifying attack, before running off.

Prosecutor Jennie Rickman told the court that after being arrested in December he had initially denied the assault on the girl, until police revealed they had found his DNA on her underwear.

He tried explaining his actions by telling police that he thought her skirt was too short and that she needed to be taught a lesson and even blamed her for giving him the impression she was “up for it”. The judge said that these were examples of Wildman’s “distorted and worrying thinking”.

As a result of the attack the girl was left with some physical injuries but more worryingly, said Miss Rickman, was the psychological effects it would have on her now and in the future.

In a letter to the judge, the victim’s mother explained how she had been encouraging her daughter to have a little independence by asking her to go to the shop that day.

It read: “You took that independence.

You made her think twice about the kind of people are out there.”

While her father added in a second letter that his daughter had frozen in sheer fright at the thought that she was going to be killed.

In mitigation, Peter Asteris, said that Wildman, who has two university degrees and a pilot’s licence, finds it difficult to explain his actions and that it was something that “spiralled out of control”.

Sentencing Wildman to ten years in prison, plus five years on licence, Judge Burrell said that this was a sustained attack that involved the young girl being detained. He added: “You were sexually attracted to her. You planned the attack as soon as you spotted her on the road. You say the child had given you signal to advance sexually, that is wholly distorted.”

Wildman was also put on the sex offenders register.