Jail for Burnley man who raped schoolgirl

JAILED: Rapist Abdul Rofiq (s)
JAILED: Rapist Abdul Rofiq (s)

A MAN who attacked and raped a schoolgirl at a house in Burnley has been jailed for four years.

The town’s crown court heard how Abdul Rofiq (37) forced himself on his victim as she struggled.

His actions, in August 2010, left a devastating impact on the girl, but he recently claimed to a probation officer compiling his pre-sentence report that she could not still be suffering any long-term effects.

The hearing was told Rofiq, a married man with a family, denied the attack when he was arrested and questioned by police in March last year but later admitted rape, in court.

The defendant, of Bright Street, Burnley, was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register and was banned from working with children, both for life.

Mr Nicholas Courtney (prosecuting) told the court the girl had struggled with Rofiq, but he forced her to her knees and raped her.

The victim did not tell anybody what had happened to her at the time, but spoke to two school friends some months later. They took her to see a teacher, police were called and the defendant was arrested. He was interviewed, denied the offence and said he would not do anything like that. Mr Courtney said the defendant had a record, but no previous convictions for sex offences.

Miss Gwen Henshaw (defending) said Rofiq fully understood what he had done was extremely serious. His family had been torn apart by what he had done.

“He expresses, through me, sincere remorse. He knows he is facing a custodial sentence and he understands the impact of a custodial sentence on his family will be significant.”

Miss Henshaw said the defendant’s family had noted a change in the way he conducted himself and that included steering away from drinking. His change in lifestyle meant he was dedicating more time to religion and helping others in the community.

The barrister added: “He faces the inevitable custodial sentence with acceptance and sincere regret.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt told Rofiq: “I have read the pre-sentence report and many references written by those who know you. A large number of those references refer to this offence as having been a mistake. Let it clearly be understood by them and by members of the public this was not a mistake. This was a deliberate and forceful attack, in which you raped her.”

The judge said Rofiq had tried to minimise what he had done,adding: “What you did was selfish, it was wicked and you will now be punished for that.”