February 2018

Child rapist who groomed vulnerable schoolgirl jailed 

A dangerous sex offender who subjected a young girl to years of vile abuse has been sentenced to 17 years

Craig Knight, 31, of Blackpool preyed on the vulnerable schoolgirl when she was just 12-years-old, and travelled from Surrey to Lancashire to abuse her.

On June 7 2017, officers from Lancashire Constabulary attended an address in Blackpool following concerns about Knight’s welfare.

When they arrived at the house they became concerned about the link between Knight and a 16-year-old girl.

She later told police she had been sexually abused by Knight for several years.

Knight, of HMP Preston, was arrested, and continued to target his young victim while on bail, committing a number of crimes against her and a male her age.

On June 9 he vandalised the man’s car by filling the exhaust with expanding foam and scratching the paint.

He returned the next day armed with a gas powered pistol, a bottle containing petrol, flame proof gloves and a knife. He was intercepted by his victim’s friend and his father before he was able to cause any serious harm

At a trial at Preston Crown Court, Knight was convicted of five counts of rape of a child under 13, three counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of affray, witness intimidation, possession of a knife, possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and two counts of theft.

He pleaded guilty to criminal damage before the trial.

Judge Sara Dodd ruled Knight was a dangerous offender and imposed an extended sentence for public protection, at Preston Crown Court.

She handed him 17 years, with a four year extended licence for the sexual offences against the girl and four years with an extra year on licence for the violent offences, to run consecutively.

She also made Knight the subject of a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order and put him on the Sex Offenders Register for life.