A SEX offender has been jailed for 12 years after becoming the latest man to be convicted in a major investigation into child sexual exploitation in Huddersfield.

Rashid Iqbal, 46, of Dryclough Road, Huddersfield, was jailed at Leeds Crown Court yesterday after being found guilty of sexual offending against a young girl between 2003 and 2005.

Iqbal was found guilty following a four day trial at Leeds Crown Court last week in what was the latest prosecution brought by the police and CPS as part of the long running Operation Tendersea enquiry.

During the trial, the court heard he had sexually abused his victim between the ages of 13-15 within the Huddersfield area.

He was sentenced for two offences of causing or inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity and two offences of indecency with a child under 14.

Operation Tendersea remains an ongoing operation committed to investigating and bringing to justice those responsible for non-recent child sexual exploitation in the Huddersfield area.

DCI Ian Thornes, of the Kirklees District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Iqbal richly deserves the sentences given to him at court for what was targeted and depraved sexual offending against a child.

“He took advantage of her vulnerability in the worst way and I wish to commend her courage in coming forward and supporting a prosecution which has taken a child sex offender off our streets.

“We are absolutely committed to seeking justice for all victims of sexual offences, no matter when the crimes were committed.”

He added: “We do put victim’s needs at the heart of every investigation and thoroughly investigate all reports made to us. I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of such offending and not reported it to contact us.

“We will listen and we will investigate as well as help you access any support you may need.”