A BLACKBURN man given the MBE for services to the community was branded a 'manipulative liar' by a judge as he was jailed for sex offences.

Janaid Qureshi, 61, was sent to prison for four years after being convicted of six counts of sexual assault against a young woman.

The married father-of-three, of Queen’s Road, Blackburn, was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Qureshi could even lose his MBE, awarded in 1999. People jailed for more than three months can have their honours rescinded.

Qureshi was arrested in October 2008 and found guilty following a week long trial at Bolton Crown Court in February.

During sentencing, Judge Elliot Knopf described Qureshi as someone who had been in a pillar of the community and had taken a 'gigantic fall from grace'.

Judge Knopf said: “You abused her by securing her submission to your sexual demands.

“The impact statement from the young woman tells of the nightmares she suffers, her loss in trust of people and her feelings of despair because of the abuse she suffered.

“But this lady has shown immense courage to pursue this matter and demonstrate that you were a manipulative liar.”

The court heard Qureshi had threatened the victim that he would use his influence in the community to deport her if any of the allegations ever came to light.

At the time of his arrest, Qureshi was chief executive of Blackburn-based Ethnic Minority Development Association (EMDA), a board member of housing association Prospect Homes, which administrates Twin Valley Homes and Housing Pendle, a governor at Blackburn College and a board member of the University of Central Lancashire.

He was awarded the MBE in 1999 for work in community relations.

Judge Knopf told him: “A stigma has now been attached to your family as a result of your actions and the fact that you had such a established position in society makes this all the more tragic.

“But I have to tell you that I consider these offences so serious that a immediate custodial sentence is justified.”

Qureshi bowed his head as the sentence was read out and an audible gasp was heard in the public gallery.

After the case, Detective Inspector Jill Johnston said: “This is a significant sentence which reflects the seriousness of this offence and the vulnerability of his victim.

"It should send out a strong message to people who conduct themselves in this way that their behaviour will not go unpunished.

"His victim showed tremendous courage in coming forward and I hope she is now able to put this ordeal behind her.”