Tribute to courage of Burnley rape victim
DETECTIVES have paid tribute to the bravery of a teenage victim after an East Lancashire man was convicted of rape.
Lee John Reilly, 22, is facing a substantial prison sentence after being found guilty of attacking a girl, then aged 17, behind shops in Burnley last March.
Police launched a major investigation after the girl returned home and told her family she had been attacked on waste ground, near garages, in the early hours.
Reilly was arrested shortly after the incident, between Brownhill Avenue and Brows-holme Avenue and charged with number of offences. Prosecutors said that Reilly, of Dover Street, Nelson, had started talking to the girl as she walked out of Burnley town centre.
And it was alleged that, after he sexually assaulted her, he forced her to walk back towards town with him at knifepoint.
Reilly was found guilty of rape and assault by penetration charges, after a trial at Preston Crown Court.
But he was cleared of kidnapping and possession of an offensive weapon by jurors. He was remanded in custody by Judge Jonathan Gibson to await sentence at the same court on August 24.
Speaking after the case, Det Insp Jim Elston, of Burnley CID, said: “All involved in this case are very pleased with the verdict.
“The victim has shown great courage throughout her ordeal and again during the trial when she had to relive the painful experience.
“This was a premeditated attack on an unsuspecting victim.
“Reilly deserves to face a lengthy term of imprisonment.”