Facebook predator who targeted vulnerable young girls from Lancashire is jailed

Joshua Stanley, 19, of no fixed address was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment at a young offenders institute
Joshua Stanley, 19, of no fixed address was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment at a young offenders institute
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A Haslingden man has been jailed for raping a teenager and sexual offences against two other girls after chatting to them on Facebook.

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Joshua Stanley, 19, of no fixed address was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment at a young offender’s institute followed by a period of four years on extended licence on Friday, October 13 at Sessions House, Preston. He was also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must serve at least eight years before he is eligible for parole.

The result follows a trial in July where Stanley was found guilty of sexual activity with a child under 16, sexual activity with a girl under 13 and two counts of rape.

Stanley met the first victim, a 14 year old Rossendale girl, in February last year through a mutual friend and they then started chatting on Facebook. During half term, they attended a party at a friend’s house and he engaged in sexual activity with the victim who was under the influence of alcohol.

The second girl was just 12 years old when she met Stanley on Facebook. They chatted between the end of February and the beginning of April 2016 which resulted in Stanley visiting her at her home address in Rossendale where he engaged in sexual activity with her.

Later that year towards the end of July, Stanley had started talking to a 14 year old girl, again via Facebook. They arranged to meet in August 2016 near to a wooded area in Great Harwood where he raped her. They then went to her home address where he raped her for a second time.

DI Leah Rice from Blackburn Police said: “Joshua Stanley showed predatory behaviour targeting vulnerable young victims, whose ages he was aware of, and I am pleased this has been reflected in today’s result.

“This has been a difficult enquiry and the victims in this case have shown considerable courage and strength during the investigation and subsequent court case. They have been supported by specialist officers throughout.”

If you have been the victim of a sexual offence, please report it to the police.

Advice for victims of rape and sexual assaults can be found on the police website at lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/personal-safety/rape-and-sexual-assault.