A sick beast who sexually assaulted a five-year-old girl during a trip to the beach has been locked up for more than two years.

Thomas Mason was branded “disgusting” by the Sheriff who jailed him last week after he lured the child to a secluded spot on Ardeer Beach to sexually abuse her.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court was told the vile paedophile had befriended the girl’s Kilwinning family and got them to trust him so much that they gave him permission to take her for a day out.

The court heard pervert Mason attacked the girl twice after earning her family’s trust, first at the beach then at his home address in Stevenston between July 17 and 19 last year.

Once he had the child in his grip depraved Mason subjected her to a string of disgusting sexual acts, the details of which are too distressing to publish.

Following the horrific attacks Mason, most recently of Ardrossan, casually delivered the child back to her unsuspecting parents as if nothing had happened.

But the traumatised youngster told her mother what he had done as soon as Mason left.

Mason pled not guilty to the attacks and subjected his victim and her family to further anguish of a court trial.

But a jury saw through the vile 34-year-old and found him guilty of the horrific crime.

The court was told this attack was not the first time Mason had carried out his sick fantasies on a defenceless child.

Mason had previously been investigated for sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl in his native Leeds between January 5, 2015 and February 23, 2016.

Bearded Mason appeared in the dock on Thursday and when asked to confirm his name he retorted “correct”.

Despite being found guilty his lawyer said he continues to deny the assault and urged Sheriff Alistair Watson to spare him a jail sentence and release him back into the community.

Defending, Manus Tolland said: “His life is going to be blighted by this.

“He is going to have difficulty until his children are adults and his relationship with them is not monitored. He is going to be watched in all quarters.

“The difficulty in showing remorse is he has to accept that he committed an offence.

“Without being over dramatic about it, this is a lifelong sentence he is facing now.

“Nothing can extend the lifelong stigma he faces.”

But Sheriff Watson told Mason the shocking crime meant there was “no question” of him remaining a free man.

He jailed him for 30 months and added him to the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

He said: “This was a disgusting episode of behaviour, there’s no other way to describe it.

“The child was very young and although I have to accept the child was not physically injured, that takes nothing away from the appalling act that you were convicted of.

“I can’t help but feel incredibly sorry for the child’s parents who mistakenly trusted you and they somewhat blame themselves for trusting you.

“But this court wants to make it clear thatthey should not blame themselves and there was only one person to blame and that is you. I’m bound to take in to account your personal circumstances but I’m also going to take into account your complete lack of remorse.”

Victims devastated parents speak out

The parents of sick Mason’s five-year-old victim today spoke of their devastation at how the ‘predator’ managed to earn their trust.

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told how vile Mason was a member of their community centre and had befriended them and other parents by presenting himself as a stay-at-home dad-of-two.

The parents told how Mason would even attend keep fit classes with the other mums and spent months earning their trust.

However the court heard that the two children he claimed were his, were actually his stepchildren, and Mason had duped an entire community.

The mum told the Times: “I know people think why did I let her go with him, but it wasn’t a case of just him and her.

“He was taking a group of the kids to the beach and all the other mums had known him a long time trusted him and vouched for him and my daughter wanted to go with her friends.

“He was a stay-at-home dad and if he was a mum I would have let her go so I didn’t want to discriminate just because he was a man.

“I trusted him and I regret it. He is a predator and he knew exactly what he was doing but that is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.”

The child’s parents were in court on Thursday to see Mason being jailed, but her mother had to leave the court mid-way through as she was so upset.

She said: “He looked over at us and was so smug. I can’t believe he is still denying what happened. He has absolutely no remorse. He stood there in total denial. That’s how sneaky and clever he thinks he is. I know he will get out eventually, but we are not thinking about that now. Our daughter is doing so well and she knows ‘Bad Tommy’ has gone to jail and that is all that matters.

“We are so proud of her. For her to speak up and tell me what happened even though he warned her not to say anything is so brave. She has saved other children from his grasp.

“Even when he gets out, everyone knows what he’s done and knows what he looks like so he will have to live with that. I honestly don’t know what we would have done if he was set free. He is a dangerous man who preys on people and children.”

The victim’s father added: “Him going to jail will never take away what he did to our daughter but it will hopefully help to give us closure. We will have to live with this for the rest of our lives, but we just hope that our girl is so young that she will be able to forget.”