A MAN has admitted raping a teenage girl on playing fields near a school.
At Preston Crown Court yesterday, Michael McQueenie, of Highbury Place, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault.
He had been due to stand trial but accepted the charges against him.
Police said they hope the plea will allow the victim, who was 14 at the time of the attack, to start to rebuild her life.
The incident happened when McQueenie, who was wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket, lured the girl into a wooded area near St James’ Primary School, in Oozebooth Terrace, on June 5.
He asked her remove her clothing and then subjected her to a serious sexual assault.
McQueenie, 28, was disturbed and ran off when the girl’s concerned father came looking for her.
Detectives launched a major inquiry and a dedicated team of officers carried out door-to-door inquiries in the area.
The youngster is being supported by specially-trained officers.
Det Chief Insp Dean Holden, from Lancashire Constabulary, said the girl was terrified by her ordeal.
He said: “I welcome the result, given the terrible ordeal that this vulnerable young girl suffered.
“I hope that McQueenie’s admission of guilt and his subsequent sentencing next year will bring some closure to the victim and her family so that they can start to get on with rebuilding their lives.”
Cllr Hussain Akhtar, who represents the Shear Brow ward, said: “Our community does not accept things like this.
“What he did is very bad and sad. Parents in the area have discussed with their children about strangers and they are now keeping an eye out.
“I hope this girl can put behind her what happened and that she can get on with her life. There should be a very strong punishment for people like McQueenie.”
McQueenie will be sentenced at Burnley Crown Court on Monday, January 26.