A man who lured a 12-year-old girl from her home, plied her with alcohol and raped her, has been jailed.

John Phoenix,30,of Brideoak Street, Leigh was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court today after pleading guilty to rape and being found guilty of child abduction at an earlier hearing.

On Friday 22 September 2017, a 12-year-old girl was reported missing from her home in Leigh.

Police traced the girl to Phoenix’s address two days later and established that he had been messaging the victim on social media for a number of weeks.

The night she went missing, Phoenix took the girl to a nightclub in Leigh where he plied her with alcohol and kissed her before he took her back to his home and raped her.

Phoenix was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the rape, and five years in prison for child abduction but the sentences will run concurrently. Phoenix was also given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and is required to be on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Detective Constable Rachel Forsythe from GMP’s Wigan Child Sexual Exploitation team said: “Phoenix’s actions were utterly despicable. He is a predator who plied this young girl with alcohol and raped her knowing full well that she was 12-years old and he had lured her away from her family.

“What this young girl has been through at such a young age is unimaginable, and I would like to commend her incredible bravery in supporting our investigation.

“My thoughts are also with the girl’s mother, who experienced every parent's worst nightmare when she realised her 12-year-old daughter was missing, and then had the horrifying discovery of what she'd gone through at the hands of this disgraceful man.

“I want this result to send a clear message that we have a team of specialists committed to finding the people who exploit children, and make sure they are held to account for their abhorrent actions.”

If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, you should report it to the police, or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.

You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can refer themselves to St Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0161 276 6515, whether or not you want make a police report.