A WIGAN man has been sentenced to a 21 year jail term for raping a young girl and sexually abusing her.
Adrian Howard, who was convicted of eight sex offences after a trial, was placed behind bars for 17 years with an extended licence of four years.
His persistent abuse came to light after the victim’s concerned mum checked her mobile phone and found sexually explicit messages from him.
When she confronted her daughter about them she broke down and revealed what had been happening and her mum told the police.
Howard was working in Belfast at the time as an asbestos remover but when he arrived at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport police were waiting to arrest him, said Charlotte Kenny, prosecuting.
The Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, told 50-year-old Howard that he poses a significant threat to young girls and that the long term psychological harm he has caused his victim is unknown.
Howard, of no fixed address, formerly of Platt Bridge, was found guilty by a Liverpool Crown Court jury of one offence of raping the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, when she was aged 11 or 12.
He was also convicted of two attempted rape offences and five other sexual assaults spanning almost four years.
Howard denied the allegations and claimed that the girl had sent him sexually explicit texts and he just replied in the same manner as a joke.