August 2023

Pervert who sexually assaulted teenage girl in Darwen jailed

A pervert who grabbed a 16-year-old girl from behind and sexually assaulted her in Darwen has been jailed following our investigation.

The victim was walking along Bolton Road at around midnight on June 25, this year, when she heard the sound of somebody running behind her.

That individual – 39-year-old James White – placed his hands over her eyes, dragged her to the ground, before saying: “I don’t want to hurt you.”

The defendant then stroked the victim’s thigh while they lay on the ground and he still had his hands over her face.

The brave victim attempted to call her mother on Facetime, while using her mobile phone to strike White several times.

White tried to knock the mobile phone from her hand.

The victim believes White was disturbed by the noise the phone made while calling her mother and so he got up and ran off towards Darwen town centre.

During the scuffle the victim managed to take two screenshots of the call which captured White’s face.

Via CCTV enquiries, our officers managed to identify White’s white Mercedes A180 as being in the area at the time of the attack.

He was arrested on Olive Lane, Darwen, later the same day and following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, subsequently charged with sexual assault and assault causing actual bodily harm. He was remanded into custody.

White, of Sudellside Street, Darwen, pleaded guilty to both offences when he appeared before Blackburn magistrates on June 28.

He was remanded back into custody to appear at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced today (August 9).

White was sentenced to two and a half years.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 15 years.