Rochdale man jailed for grooming and sexually assaulting schoolgirl he met on Facebook

28 November 2011, 14:24 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A Rochdale man, who groomed and sexually assaulted a schoolgirl he had met on Facebook, has been jailed for three years.

Arran Akhtar, 18, of Lower Fallinge, Rochdale, contacted the 13-year-old Rossendale girl on Facebook, before inviting her to his home on 4 October 2010 where he sexually assaulted her.

He appeared at Burnley Crown Court after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of causing or
 inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two counts of assault by penetration. He was given a Sexual Offenders Prevention Order and was put on the Sex Offenders Register. He was also disqualified from working with children for life.

Akhtar was arrested after an investigation by Pennine Division’s Freedom Team – a specialist unit made of police officers, social workers and staff from children’s charities which was set up to tackle the sexual exploitation of young people in Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale.

Detective Constable Nicola Corbett, from the Freedom Team, said: “Akhtar deliberately targeted and preyed on a vulnerable young girl by grooming and sexually  exploiting her. The victim has shown tremendous courage in coming forward and giving evidence at court.  This type of predatory crime will not be tolerated and we will continue to target, warn and prosecute offenders to hit home the message that this type of behaviour is not just unacceptable, it is criminal, and we will pursue those people involved and bring them to justice"