A 46-YEAR-OLD man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after being found guilty of a sex offence committed in 1996.

Following a three day trial Michael Burton, previously of Runcorn, but most recently living in Pennine Drive in Parr, St Helens was convicted and sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to 14 years in prison.

He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life after being found guilty of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13.

The victim came forward to police in June 2016 reporting the historic incident of grooming and also told officers Burton had sex with her on one occasion in 1996 when she was 12 years old.

The offence took place in a house in Runcorn.

DC Katie Wardle said: “This is a fantastic sentence for a despicable crime against a young vulnerable child. Burton took advantage of her vulnerabilities and befriended her by building her trust.

"He broke this trust by having sex with her at the age of 12 when he was in his mid-twenties.

“Burton did not admit his involvement, causing the victim to give evidence and she and her family had to endure a very distressing time over the past 18 months.

“This conviction sends the message loud and clear that Cheshire Police takes all reports of historic sexual offences seriously and will do our best to bring offenders to justice.”