A woman woke to find her husband sexually assaulting a young girl having a sleepover in their Ipswich home in Queensland.

The angry wife yelled, "What's going on? Why?" and assaulted her husband while the child slept, unaware she was being violated.

The man, 53, fled interstate in Australia after his wife confronted him.

The girl, aged 13, was one of three girls, friends of his children, that the man sexually assaulted at the family home. He molested a fourth girl left in the family's care by the Department of Child Safety.

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Ipswich District Court this week heard the man had previously been jailed for raping a child in 2010.

This time he pleaded guilty to one count of indecent treatment of a child aged under 16 while under his care, and nine counts of indecent treatment of children aged under 12.

Judge Dennis Lynch said the man was a recidivist child sex offender who was a danger to children.

Crown prosecutor Ben Jackson said the offences happened in 2016. The man has been held in custody for 19 months.

A report before the court found the dad had not offended against his own children and was not a danger to them.

Jackson said the man's wife caught him indecently using his mouth on a girl aged 13 as she slept.

He said the other victims were aged between eight and 11 and involved indecent touching.

Jackson said the offences were a breach of trust as the children had been staying in his home - and the precious nature of children must be protected.

He said the offences also showed a persistence in his behaviour.

The Crown sought a head sentence of no fewer than five years with the man to serve one-third which he was just weeks from completing.

Defence barrister Scott Neaves said the dad should complete a sex offenders' programme but had no access to this while being held on remand and his case was being finalised.

As he had now been in jail more than 580 days, he would likely be released.

Neaves said his client also had issues with alcohol.

Judge Lynch agreed the convicted man should undertake a sex offenders' course, saying the dad was a danger to the community.

For the most serious offence, the man was sentenced to four years' jail, and to lesser jail terms on the others — served concurrently.

He was eligible to apply immediately for parole, a process that can take months.

The article was originally published in The Queensland Times