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A FORMER youth worker has been put behind bars after being found guilty of raping an 11-year-old girl.

Dilal Uddin, 36, from Mossley, was charged with rape and seven other counts of sexual abuse, starting just weeks after the victim’s 11th birthday.

The abuse only came to light when she told a family member.

The father-of-three had always denied the offences, leading to a trial in which the youngster and her family were forced to give evidence, but was convicted by a jury in October last year.

He appeared before Manchester Crown Court last Monday and was sentenced to 11 years in jail.

He was also banned from working or volunteering with children under 16 and from having any unsupervised contact with them indefinitely.

The court heard how Uddin – a former youth worker in Manchester – had befriended the girl and showered her with money and gifts in order to ‘purchase her trust and also her silence’.

A letter from the victim was handed to the court in which she said she felt scared but was glad that she had been able to tell someone.

Passing sentence, Judge Jeffrey Lewis told Uddin he had ‘preyed’ on the girl for his own sexual gratification.

He said: “Yours was a classic case of grooming a young child so that, as and when you chose, you could exploit her sexually.

“Your sexual misconduct was a betrayal of her dignity, of her innocence, of the innocence of her childhood.

“Apart from the physical indignities of your conduct there is a risk of psychological harm having been caused as a result of your abuse of her.

“You have never admitted your misconduct, you showed no remorse for it, nor have you offered any apology.”

Speaking after the court case, the victim’s mother thanked police, social workers, the witness service and everyone who had supported the family through the court case.

“It has been horrendous, a nightmare,” she added.

“It makes you look at people in a different way – you can’t trust them, it makes you paranoid.

“No sentence will ever be long enough but I am pleased with the result.”

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