A FORMER army sergeant major from Halesowen carried out a 'terrifying' sex attack on a teenage girl before asking her not to tell her mum.

Jonathan Sword, of Southwick Road, carried out the sexual assault on the 14-year-old in Redditch, pulling her tights down as he thrust his groin towards hers.

The 55-year-old former soldier who started the Studley-based Phoenix Scalextric Circuit had denied the assault at his trial at Worcester Crown Court.

However, he was found guilty by a jury with a majority of 11 to one and was sentenced by judge Nicholas Cole last Thursday.

The sexual assault happened between the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 and did not involve penetration.

Daniel White, prosecuting, said: "She was pushed onto a table. He pulled down her tights or leggings and thrust his groin area towards her groin area."

Mr White said the attack lasted three seconds. Later, he followed her and told her not to tell her mother which the prosecution said was an aggravating feature of the case.

Mr White added: "It has affected her so deeply she feels she will never recover."

The complainant, who cannot be identified, said in a victim personal statement that the incident had affected her trust and capacity for intimacy and she was 'no longer as outgoing'.

Sword has a previous conviction for six counts of making indecent images of children and two of possessing extreme pornography which he downloaded between December 15, 2012 and May 25, 2016.

The sexual assault happened before these offences so the judge could not activate the 16 month sentence suspended for two years which was imposed in October 2016.

As part of that suspended sentence order imposed at Warwick Crown Court, Sword completed 100 hours of unpaid work and 50 rehabilitation activity days.

Concerns were raised about Sword's behaviour at the mortuary of a funeral director's in Stratford which never resulted in any charges but led to his laptop being seized by police.

They discovered 252 indecent images and 59 videos, some at category A (the most serious level).

The videos showed a sex act being performed on a dead body in a mortuary and images of a female being tortured and raped.

It was a report of this case in a newspaper that persuaded the complainant in the sexual assault to come forward.

The officer who had to view the material described it as 'a very disturbing collection indeed' Mr White told the court.

Charley Pattison, defending, said Sword now accepted what he had done.

Miss Pattison said: "His remorse is born of the effects and consequences his actions have had. I would advance on his behalf remorse as a mitigating factor."

She said Sword had been in contact with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and had been identified as being at a low risk of reoffending.

Judge Cole said a pre-sentence report appeared to show he was maintaining his innocence despite his conviction which was at odds with the letter he had written but Miss Pattison said Sword accepted what had happened and he nodded to the judge to indicate this was indeed the case.

She also referred to his previous good character and exemplary military record.

Sword reached the rank of sergeant major. Miss Pattison did not reveal the regiment because she said Sword did not want to bring shame upon it.

Sword suffers from PTSD and had helped others who suffer from it. She said he had the support of his partner and son.

Judge Cole said of the attack: "She was naturally terrified."

A sexual harm prevention order had already been made which means Sword must not go to public places where children are present and must make his computer available on request to police.

Judge Cole jailed him for 20 months but suspended the sentence for two years and further ordered him to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, 30 rehabilitation activity days and pay a contribution towards costs of £1,000.

As a convicted sex offender he will be subject to notification requirements for 10 years which means he must inform his offender manager of any change in his name or address.