A DARWEN man who lured a seven-year-old girl into the bathroom and then sexually molested her has been jailed for eight years.

Luke Shorrock, 23, of Hindle Street, asked the child to be his girlfriend, before attacking her, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Shorrock, who cares for his disabled parents, still denies the offences. But he was convicted last month of attempted rape and sexual assault by penetration.

Judge Graham Morrow, QC, said that it was clear he had been drinking and smoking cannabis and his intoxicated state had been a factor in the offences.

He ordered him to sign the Sexual Offenders Register for life, banned him from working with children indefinitely and imposed a 10 year Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning unsupervised contact with children.

It happened on August 12, 2011 when a relative of the girl found Shorrock in the bathroom with the child. he looked shocked and she burst into tears.

Police were called and Shorrock was arrested.

Charlotte Kenny, prosecuting, said the seven-year-old girl said he had apparently been waiting for her upstairs and pulled her into the bathroom.

Miss Kenny said the girl used to be a ‘happy, bubbly and sociable little girl who looked up to adults and held them in respect’.

DC Jane Challenger said: “Shorrock is a predatory and dangerous man who deliberately targeted a vulnerable young girl.

“We have supported the girl and her family throughout what has been a very difficult time and I hope they will now be able to start to put this terrible ordeal behind them and move on with their lives.”