A CONVICTED sex offender is back in jail after he fondled a teenage girl on the day of his release as he travelled on a train through Winchester.

Matthew Hartley-Young, 21, pleaded guilty to an offence of sexual touching at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court in December and was sentenced to a minimum of 18 months behind bars at Winchester Crown Court.

Dawn Hyland, prosecuting, told the court that the victim, a 17-year-old girl who cannot be named for legal reasons, was on a train from Basingstoke to Winchester.

She was travelling with her bicycle and Hartley-Young, who had been released from Dartmoor prison that morning and had drunk 11 cans of lager, had offered to secure it inside the carriage for her.

As he was helping her, she dropped some items on the floor.

He offered his hand and went to kiss her, then fondled her.

Hartley-Young, of Evelyn Road, Bournemouth, was arrested at Winchester railway station. He has several previous offences, including one of sex with an underage girl.

Mitigating, Rebecca Austin said her client had a "fractured childhood" and a "self-destructive" personality and was quite clearly in need of help.