The mum found the eight-year-old girl distressed in the middle of the night at their home in Strathalbyn, Australia
– but believed she had just been having a bad dream.
But the next morning, the mum checked the CCTV inside the home and found there had been a stranger snooping around the house.
She was horrified to find a man had been lurking right outside her daughter’s bedroom.
CCTV footage showed Jamie Phillip Mongoo, 33, entering the house shortly after midnight on June 2.
He snuck into the girl’s bedroom and climbed up a ladder to her bunk bed before touching her arm and back and whispering to her, the West Australian
The girl reportedly told Mongoo: “Stop it, you’re scaring me, go away.”
Her mum was woken up by the sound of her daughter’s voice and the intruder reportedly fled.
The girl told her mum someone was in her room and she assumed it was just a bad dream – until she checked the cameras in the morning.
Mongoo, a former ice cream factory worker, was later arrested after an anonymous tip.
He has pleaded guilty to burglary and common assault after breaking into the home.
The mum said she felt sick after realising her daughter hadn’t been dreaming.
“I felt nausea and anger all at once when I first saw that my CCTV had captured someone right outside my kid’s bedroom,” she said.
“I had expected to put her mind at ease by showing her there was nothing, only to discover that her nightmare was our reality.
“I can’t put into words how relieved I am that I’d just installed cameras.
“I hate to think that my daughter might have had this experience only to have no one believe her.”
She added: “The idea of a stranger being in the house and climbing up to her bed seemed so impossible I was sure it was a bad dream.”
But she said she was proud of her daughter for standing up for herself.
‘I never thought this could happen to my family, but it did and despite the trauma, I am mostly left feeling incredibly proud of my daughter and how she reacted,” the mum said.
“Teach children how to ask for help and how to stand up for themselves.”
Mongoo has also pleaded guilty to a number of unrelated charges – including trespassing in homes and 13 counts of fraud.
He is due to appear in court on November 17.