A N Iraq war veteran from Little Lever has been jailed for raping a six-year-old girl.

Garry Reader, aged 31, of Market Street, had been left alone with his young victim and her three siblings at a house in Bolton, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Reader was lying in bed upstairs when he called the victim into the bedroom and she climbed into bed with him.

After asking if her brother was downstairs, he told her “Shhh, be quiet”, before raping her.

He then told the victim: “Don’t tell anyone, someone could be really mad at me and I could go to prison.”

The incident happened sometime between May 2012 and May 2013, but the abuse only emerged weeks later, in August 2013, when the victim told her friend and was persuaded to speak to her mother about the incident.

Reader was found guilty of rape of a girl under the age of 13 today and was jailed for 11 years.

Det Con Kirsty Kaye said: “This is an appalling case, where the victim was not old enough to even comprehend the atrocity she was being subjected to."

“Reader has then used that classic tool of abusers and exploiters, fear, guilt-tripping the victim into keeping quiet."

Reader, an Iraq war veteran who served as a private in the Queens Lancashire Regiment, tried in 2003 to resuscitate Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa, who was beaten while in British army custody in Basra.

Speaking to the BBC about Mr Mousa’s death in 2011, Reader said: “I was 19 at the time and didn’t have any power to stop it.

“Whether you hit him or didn’t hit him, you still have a responsibility for his death.

“I can’t say enough words of how sorry I am for myself and others for his self.”