A MAN has appeared before Blackburn magistrates charged with the rape of a teenage girl following an incident in Burnley on New Year’s Day.

Nassar Iqbal, 30, of Castle Street, Brierfield, is also charged with robbing the girl, 15, of her mobile phone and indecently assaulting her.

He was sent in custody to Burnley Crown Court where he will appear on February 7.

Iqbal was arrested on Wednesday, after police launched an investigation into reports that a teenage girl was raped close to the Charter Walk shopping centre car park at around 9am.

Detective Inspector Tim McDermott said: “The girl is being supported by specially trained officers.”