A 'respected' barrister who lured a child into his home where he sexually assaulted her has been jailed.

Israr Chugtai, 37, met his victim in Nelson town centre on Sunday, November 12, 2023.

Burnley Crown Court heard the victim told Chugtai she was only 14, and they were seen on CCTV walking in the town for just over an hour.

Prosecutor Paul Brookwell told the court Chugtai asked the victim whether she had a boyfriend, and offered to buy her a mobile phone.

The court heard Chugtai then called them a taxi back to his house on Clegg Street, Brierfield, where he undressed and sexually assaulted her.

After he assaulted her, Chugtai rang the victim a taxi to go home, but she asked the driver to take her to hospital where she reported to doctors that she had been assaulted.

Police then attended Chugtai's address on November 14, where he was arrested, and he made 'no comment' at interview. 

Chugtai was originally due to stand trial for two counts of rape in May this year, but pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual activity with a child instead.

In mitigation, James Heyworth told the court Chugtai was of good character with no previous convictions, and a respected barrister in Pakistan.

He said: "He knows he should not have done what he did and behaved out of character.

"He understands he deserves to be punished and the only suitable punishment is an immediate custodial sentence."

Judge Sara Dodd sentenced Chugtai, who used an interpreter in court, to three years and nine months in prison, and had a sexual harm prevention order imposed for 10 years.

She said: "Your victim was particularly vulnerable and fragile due to her age and previous circumstances.

"I accept you would not have known about her personal issues, but there is a significant disparity in your ages that you were aware of.

"You were a well respected barrister in Pakistan and are of a previous good character, but those mitigations do not outweigh the fact that this is of the highest category for this offence."