A man from Burnley has been jailed for seven and a half years after pleading guilty to sexual assaulting four children on public transport and in a supermarket.

Steven Collins, 23, of Pink Street, targets his female victims and inappropriately touched them, threatened them and stalked them.

Two of the victims managed to take photos of Collins on their phones, which enabled police to track down and bring Collins to justice.

Appearing at Manchester Crown Court earlier today, Collins was sentenced after earlier pleading guilty to three counts of sexual assault.

The offences were committed on public transport and at a supermarket in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.

He was jailed for seven years and six months and made subject to a Sexual Harm Preventon Order for 10 years; he was also made to sign the sex offender’s register for life.

Detective Constable Victoria Eronini, of Greater Manchester Police’s Child Protection Investigation Unit based in Ashton, said: “This is a good sentencing result for all involved.

“What this man put these young females through is absolutely horrendous.

“I would like to commend the bravery and strength of the victims coming forward to report the sexual assaults.

“We know this can’t have been easy and we are grateful for all of their assistance throughout the investigation.

“Without their help, a very dangerous man would still be preying on young females on the streets of Greater Manchester.”

Any victims of rape or other sexual offences is urged to contact the police by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.