A pervert, who abused a young girl, handed himself in to police after a life-changing motorcycle accident.
Robert McFarlane, 37, walked into a police station to confess his crimes after becoming a born again Christian. He was this week jailed for four years and eight months at Burnley Crown Court.
A judge heard that he told his under-age victim he was her ‘boyfriend’ after abusing her, a court heard.
But he later felt ‘compelled’ to admit his crimes after suffering a serious road traffic accident and handed himself into the police.
McFarlane, of Lydia Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to indecent assault of a child and sexual activity with a child under 16.
Prosecutor Mark Ainsworth told the court that McFarlane turned up at Green Bank Police Station in the early hours of September 14 this year to confess.
When the victim was interviewed she told officers that the abuse had begun when McFarlane ‘blew her a kiss’ and later kissed her ‘passionately’ on the lips before sexually abusing her.
The victim told police the abuse was “the worst feeling she had ever felt” and said McFarlane told her she was his girlfriend and that he was her boyfriend. Years later the defendant apologised to the victim for the abuse and explained he was a born again Christian.
Mark Lamberty, defending McFarlane, said that the offences had come to light in very unusual circumstances.
McFarlane, a father-of-four, wept and hung his head as the court heard he had left his life in ruins.
Mr Lamberty said McFarlane had suffered a motorcycle accident in 2012, underwent a ‘transformation’ and felt ‘compelled’ to admit his crimes.
Mr Lamberty said the case has had a devastating impact on McFarlane, who was too embarrassed to return to work after admitting the matters and has been living in a bail hostel ever since. The barrister added: “He is genuinely remorseful and apologises to everyone.”