rapist1 A ‘PREDATOR’ who attempted to snatch a 14-year-old papergirl at knifepoint and sexually assault her has been jailed for three years.

Tahir Haddadi, 26, of Hosier Street, Blackburn, threatened the youngster with a three-inch blade and demanded that she perform a sex act on him, police said.

Haddadi, a worker at a local cash and carry depot, was convicted of sexual assault and kidnap at Preston Crown Court where he was sent to prison.

After the case, Detective Constable Lee Eckersley said Haddadi struck at around 6.30am on July 3 last year in Audley Lane, Audley.

He said that after Haddadi pounced on the girl he threatened her and tried to take her to a secluded area.

But, as he was walking with her and threatening her with a knife, she began to become very upset and started crying.

He said that as the girl began to cry Haddadi ran off and she was able to escape.

She reported the incident when she was back in the safety of her home.

DC Eckersley said: “The incident has left her absol-utely devastated.

“She is getting her confid-ence back now but she was left scared to go outside for a long period.

“This was a very serious incident and has an aggrav-ating feature because of his use of a knife.

“She was very lucky in my opinion that the incident was not a lot worse.

“Haddadi is a predator and a coward.

“He has always denied the offence but we are delighted that he has now been convicted and the victim and her family can start to put the incident behind them.”

DC Eckersley said that the incident happened as the girl completed her normal paper route.

He said: “He saw the young girl early in the morning when she was going about her paper round and formed his intentions.”