A man who raped and sexually abused a teenager in the back of his work van and at his home has been jailed for 18 years.

Burnley Crown Court heard how delivery driver Karl Chadwick, 57, would abuse the girl, who was between the ages of 13 and 16 at the time of the historic abuse, in his van and at his home.

The court heard he would give her drugs, with one summarised statement from the victim saying he would “get her stoned”, before going on to commit his grave crimes.

The victim also said she was told by Chadwick “no one would believe her” if she told anyone about what he did.

In a victim personal statement, summarised by prosecuting barrister Hugh Edwards, the victim said the offences had a “massive impact emotionally” on her, and she was scared that when she woke up Chadwick would be there doing what he did again.

She added it has had a negative impact on her mental health which is now a “constant daily battle.”

Mr Edwards said the offences would often happen late at night on country roads, with Chadwick manipulating the situation so the victim was isolated in secluded areas.

It is believed the offences happened around the Whitworth area.

By way of mitigation, Craig MacGregor said his client, apart from these offences, had never come to the attention of the police or the courts.

While he accepted a custodial sentence was inevitable, he made clear prison was going to be difficult for Chadwick due to a number of health issues, principally caused by a serious car crash in 2002.

Chadwick, of Belgrave Street, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was convicted of six counts of indecent assault, four counts of rape, one count of assault by penetration, and one count of sexual assault of a child after trial.

Sentencing, Judge Sara Dodd said: “You well understand I am dealing with you for sexual offences against a girl between the ages of 13 and 16.

"I find you were in a position of trust. Your abuse only stopped when she was 16.

“You told her no one would believe her if she disclosed what you did to her.

“She also described the abuse of her by you in the bedroom of your home.

“I am satisfied there is very significant harm caused to her and impacting on every aspect of her life.”

Chadwick was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

He will be subject to sex offender notification requirements for life and a sexual harm prevention order of 25 years was imposed.