AN 82-year-old who molested a woman with a mental of age eight has walked free from court.

Ljubomir Obradovic groped the woman in the jacuzzi of the Corsham Community Campus health suite before trying to lure her to somewhere to have sex.

The retired farm worker, who accepted he realised there was something not right with his 24-year-old victim, even bought her a mobile phone to keep in touch.

But after hearing he had never been in trouble and was sorry for what he had done, a judge sitting at Swindon Crown Court imposed a suspended sentence.

Philip Warren, prosecuting, said the pensioner was caught after the victim's mum asked her where she got the phone from, and was told 'The man at the centre'.

The victim, who has little knowledge of sexual subjects, then told how she had been involved in contact with the man and the matter was reported to the police.

Because of the girl's lack of understanding Mr Warren said they were not relying on what she had told the police, just what Obradovic admitted when questioned.

"He described how he and her had been in the hot tub together. He described what initially might be described as horseplay," he said.

"He then described indulging in what he described as 'foreplay' hoping to arouse himself and engender a sexual encounter with her.

"He said he hoped she would go off somewhere quiet with him at a later point."

Mr Warren said as a result of the incident the victim had become quite distressed and the management of her condition had greatly deteriorated.

Obradovic, of Church Farm Cottages, Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, admitted sexual activity with a person who suffers a mental disorder which impedes choice.

Chris Smyth, defending, described the incident as "an aberration by an 82-year-old man".

He said his client had worked as a farm manager since the 1970s and is now retired.

He said that he lives on a cottage on the farm rent-free for the rest of his life as result of his service to his former employer.

Mr Tomlinson told the court he thought the offence was "totally out of character", for his friend adding he had been "very, very, low" facing the proceedings.

He said he thought the incident was the response of an elderly man who lives alone to the "friendly advances of a young lady".

Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "There can be no excuses for what you did to her that day in Corsham regardless of what Mr Tomlinson says.

"What you did has had a great impact. She has become a very troubled young person as a result of what you did to her.

"What you did to her has set her back. She is a young person but really she must be treated as a child, which makes this serious."

He imposed a 16-month jail term suspended for two years with 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement, a restraining order and told him to register as a sex offender for 10 years.