A 24-YEAR-OLD man has appeared in court charged with raping three young girls – the first alleged offence being committed when he was just 11 years old.

Firdosh Mohammed Umarji, 24, of July Street, Blackburn, faces six charges of rape, three of gross indecency and one of indecent assault.

Two of the girls involved were aged eight at the time of the incidents and the third was six-years-old.

Umarji was sent on bail to Preston Crown Court when he appeared before Blackburn magistrates.