A FRIGHTENED schoolgirl was allegedly raped or sexually assaulted at least 60 times by a man who repeatedly hit her, a jury heard.

Burnley Crown Court heard claims the girl was sexually attacked in a vehicle on the moors above Nelson by Asif Iqbal.

Iqbal was arrested in April last year, after the girl’s worried school friend told a teacher. He was questioned and denied any of the allegations took place.

The defendant, 32, of Smith Street, Nelson, pleaded not guilty to five counts of rape and seven allegations of sexual activity with a child. Some of them are specimen charges.

Sara Dodd, prosecuting, said in April last year, police were called to a school. Officers took a brief account from the alleged victim and the following day, spoke to her at length in a video recorded interview. The girl told officers Iqbal performed sex acts on her on at least 40 occasions.

The alleged victim had told her friend on Facebook that the defendant had touched her.

The girl claimed to the police that Iqbal had allegedly had sex with her at least 20 times. He had put his hand over her mouth and she had been scared.

Miss Dodd said the girl’s clothing had been examined and the defendant’s DNA was present at a low level. The prosecutor alleged: “These findings are supportive of the allegations made by the girl.”

Miss Dodd said the girl’s friend noticed something was wrong and spoke to her about it. The girl said she didn’t want to tell anybody, but the friend was so concerned she informed a teacher. The police were called. The girl had told officers that Iqbal had punched and slapped her.