A MAN has been jailed for the brutal rape of a 12-year-old Leigh girl.
Raymond Horrocks, 22, attacked the girl in a secluded field off Smallbrook Lane last summer in front of her terrified 11-year-old friend, who he had ordered to stand and watch.
He was poised to rape her friend when both girls managed to break free and raise the alarm.
Horrocks, of Chapel Green Road, Hindley, was caught after his family recognised him from a computer image compiled by the girl's friend and took him to the police.
Speaking after Horrocks was sentenced to 12 years at Bolton Crown Court, the girl's parents told the Leigh Reporter about their anguish but also pride of how their daughter and her friend helped police put the attacker behind bars.
Her 33-year-old mum said: "It was hard to listen to what happened that day.
"Our daughter has never spoke about it since. We were really grateful to her friend for what she did, staying with her. She did the photofit of him. I don't think he would have been caught except for that.
"It is just so hurtful that it had to happen to our daughter."
Both parents were in court to hear Judge Gillian Ruaux tell Horrocks he had committed a "heinous offence" and was a "risk to the public".
The girl's mum said: "We didn't expect that length of sentence.
"I was pleased with it but people who do that sort of thing don't deserve to ever come back out.
"He is just sick in the head but that is no excuse for what he did. I don't care how sick or mentally disturbed he is, you don't do that to a young child."
The attack, which occurred on July 14 last year, left the girl shocked and unwilling to be left alone.
But after the initial police interviews, she has never spoken about her ordeal.
Her 35-year-old dad said: "She is not too bad now. She's just blanked it out. I told her that he had been caught.
"She'd come upstairs and I'd told her. She said: 'Is that it? Can I finish doing my hair?'"
"It could be in years to come, when she is interested in boys, that it comes out.
"All we can do is be around her and give her support. At the moment she's doing well at school, she's got friends and she trying to get on with it. I don't push her because there is no point dragging it up.
"It will never go away. She will never forget but we are still living. He can't do what he wants now. We have got to keep her dealing with it," added her mum.
The attack has had an affect on all the family.
The girl's mum had to take time off work through stress and her dad has been unable to sleep. Only her younger brother, who has not been told about the attack, has been spared the turmoil.
"It has affected everyone. These people don't realise exactly how many people's lives they ruin," said her mum.
"But she is tough, she's a fighter. We are proud of both girls. The judge commended them on their bravery."
Detectives have also paid tribute to the two girls for their bravery in the wake of the attack.
DS Brian Langrish, who led the investigation, said: "Obviously I'm glad that it is all over for the family. It has been an ordeal for the girls involved who have been very brave throughout.
"The sentence that has been handed out reflects the seriousness of the crime and the judge commented that there was a possibility he would re-offend.
"Hopefully he will get some treatment when he is in prison and won't be released until he's treated."