A former taxi driver has been jailed for just two years after sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl.
Martin Wiggins, from Frinton, sexually assaulted the girl on two occasions last spring.
The 46-year-old paedophile had denied the charges but was found guilty by a jury last month.
He was jailed for two years on Friday at Chelmsford Crown Court.
John Farmer, prosecuting, read out two victim impact statements which said the actions of Wiggins had deeply affected the victim.
The court heard the victim “cut her hair short” after Wiggins’ abuse and “she was moody all the time”.
Sentencing Wiggins of Frinton Road, Kirby Cross, Judge Emma Peters said he had known the victim was part of a “dysfunctional home” and he had taken advantage.
She added: “I entirely accept they were momentary touches, both were short-lived but nonetheless this was an eight-year-old girl and in that stage of her life she would have had difficulty in saying much at all.
“It was opportunistic and you took advantage of this young girl in a vulnerable position at the time.”
The paedophile’s actions only came to light when the girl confided in a family member.
Judge Peters said: “This has had an impact on [the victim], she’s a young girl, she’s misbehaving more, she’s now cut her hair.
“I have heard a lot about you, so far mental health has not been an issue, but all of this has had some impact on you, but that’s the nature of this kind of offending.”
“This is too serious for anything but an immediate custodial sentence.”
He was also handed a ten-year sexual harm prevention order and he will be on the sex offender’s register for ten years.
Wiggins was a taxi driver in the Tendring area for almost 20 years.