Burnley man jailed for sex offence

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A Burnley man convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl has been jailed for 12 months.

A court heard that Andrew Sutcliffe’s victim was still suffering the effects of what he did to her and had also found having to give evidence to a court very upsetting.

Sutcliffe (54) of Gannow Lane, had denied a charge of sexual assault, but was convicted by a jury following trial at Burnley Crown Court.

The offence was carried out against a girl under thirteen.

Judge Beverley Lunt told Sutcliffe as she passed sentence at Preston Crown Court: “You sought to attack her character and to portray her, not just as a liar, but a promiscuous liar who had decided to kiss you.

“That was a scurrilous notion which the jury rightly rejected.”

A court heard that the defendant had kissed the girl inappropriately, before lifting up her bra and blowing on her chest. He had also touched the girl over her knickers.

Sutcliffe was a man of previous good character.

Tim Ashmole (defending) said “He maintains his story that he gave to the jury at trial.

“We don’t appear to have a man who is entrenched in the world of paedophilia. It appears to have been an isolated one-off offence.”

The defendant was assessed as being a low risk of committing any sexual crime in future.

Judge Lunt told Sutcliffe he had preyed on the girl’s innocence.

She added: “It’s clear you have absolutely no remorse for what you have done. I would be failing in my public duty if I didn’t sentence you to an immediate term of imprisonment.”

He will be on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the same period.