A FORMER highly-rated police inspector has been charged with rape, indecent assault and perverting the course of justice.

Mustaq Patala, was arrested at Manchester Airport after flying in on an early morning flight following a trip abroad.

The 36-year-old, who resigned from Lancashire police in June 2011, is accused of committing the sexual offences in Blackburn between 1999 and 2010.

Police said the conspiracy to pervert the course of justice offences originate between 2010 and 2011.

Patala, had been seen as a rising star of the force having overseen the highly-rated neighbourhood policing teams in Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley.

He had achieved one of the best ever scores in the country for his inspector examination prior to his resignation.

He appeared before Blackburn Magistrates yesterday, where he was remanded in custody to appear at crown court on July 10.

Arif Patala, 34, and Nighat Anwar, 33, both of Cheltenham Street, Blackburn, also appeared in court with Patala after being charged with one count of perverting the course of justice on June 13.

They are set to reappear before Blackburn magistrates on July 4.

A spokesman for Lancashire police, said: “Mustaq Patala, of Pleckgate Road, Blackburn was arrested and charged on Wednesday.

“Lancashire police take all allegations of a sexual nature extremely seriously and understand how difficult it can be for victims to have the confidence to come forward.

“As a Constabulary, we are committed to investigating sexual offences sensitively but robustly recognising the impact that these types of crimes have on victims.

“We would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse, or who has information about it, to have the confidence to report it to us knowing that we will take it seriously, deal with it sensitively and investigate it thoroughly.”