A MAN who sexually abused a 15-year-old girl who had gone to help him has been ordered to do unpaid work.

Gary Ward's solicitor said the incident could be described as an "opportunistic one-off", however, he has now been placed on the sexual offenders' register.

Appearing for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on Wednesday, Ward, 40, of Allan Crescent, Dunfermline, had previously admitted that on an occasion between March 1, 2006, and April 6, 2006, at a house in Cardenden, he used lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards a girl aged over 12 and under 16.

He made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature to her, placed her on his knee, kissed her repeatedly and touched her body over her clothing.

During a previous appearance, the court heard that the 15-year-old, described as immature and shy, had gone to his home to help him because Ward, now of Dunfermline and then living in Cardenden, told her that he was dyslexic and also had trouble with numbers and had asked for assistance.

However, when she arrived at his home, he began making sexual comments before kissing her and saying he would take her upstairs to bed when she was 16.

The victim did not tell her family at the time of the incident in 2006 and it was 11 years later before she contacted the police.

At this week's appearance, solicitor Elaine Buist said her client didn't have a clear recollection of what had happened.

"The reality is, since the plea was tended he has lost his job because he was in a shopfront dealing with members of the public," she said. "It looks like an opportunistic one-off rather than any course of conduct.

"It is the family's intention to move from where they currently reside. There have been incidents which has meant he has required to call police officers and certain steps have been made to make the house safer for Mr Ward and his family."

Sheriff Charles Macnair placed Ward on a community payback order with supervision for two years and a requirement to do 270 hours of unpaid work within six months. He was also placed on the sexual offenders' register.

"This may have been opportunistic but it was a relatively serious sexual offence against a girl significantly younger than you," he said.