A RUNCORN man has been jailed for two years after being convicted of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 16.

Alan Dougherty, aged 34, of Grangeway, was placed on the sexual offences register for 10 years when he was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Monday.

Dougherty was convicted of sexual touching the girl on July 1 last year, but cleared of two other offences after a trial last month.

DC Justin Jones from Runcorn CID, today praised the young victim for her courage. He said: “This has been an emotional case for all those involved, especially the victim who was made to re-live what happened when the defendant pleaded not guilty and the case went to trial.

“The victim and her family have been supported throughout the investigation by specially trained officers.

“I hope that the successful conclusion of the case brings about a degree of closure for her and helps her to move forward with her life.

"Cheshire Police takes any incidents of this nature extremely seriously.

“I hope that the bravery shown by the victim gives others who may have suffered in silence the courage to come forward.”