A Trowbridge pervert who subjected a 12-year-old girl to a catalogue of historic sex offences thoroughly deserved his tough jail term, top judges have ruled.

Colin Almond, 43, of Studley Close, caused "serious harm" to his victim because of the abuse he inflicted on her.

Almond was jailed for five years at Swindon Crown Court in November last year after he admitted counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child and sexual assault.

Today, three top judges at London's Appeal Court rejected a sentence challenge by Almond, saying it could not be argued his jail term was "manifestly excessive".

Mr Justice Holroyde said Almond was in his 30 when he molested the girl and coerced her into performing sexual acts on him.

The victim suffered "serious harm" as a result of the unwanted advances, which caused difficulty in her personal relationships and left her in need of regular counselling, the appeal judge added.

Almond's crimes finally came to light last year, when his victim told police; he was arrested and, in an interview with officers, he admitted the offences - even some that his victim had been unable to recall.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child, one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two of sexual assault of a child.

Mr Justice Holroyde said Almond was a man of previous good character and that he had worked as volunteer in the community for a number of years.

Applying to appeal, his barrister, Robin Shellard, argued his punishment was over the top.

But the appeal judge, sitting with Lord Justice Jackson and Mr Justice Singh, said: "We are unable to see any ground on which it could be properly argued that the total sentence was manifestly excessive.

"The renewed application for permission to appeal is accordingly dismissed."