A 'DESPICABLE' and 'deplorable' paedophile who started to abuse a girl when she was four has been imprisoned.

Martin Thorley, 45, of Broomville Avenue in Sale, appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday, November 23.

Guilty of five historic child sex offences, including rape, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Police said Thorley's abuse started when he was a teenager and the girl was four years old, and lasted seven years.

Detective Constable Dawn Berry, of GMP City of Manchester, said: "This kind of abuse has a devastating effect on the victims, casting shade over their childhood and creating mental trauma which stays with them throughout their lifetime.

"Thorley is a paedophile who exploited a young girl for his own sexual gratification.

"His behaviour is despicable and I can only hope this sentence brings some sense of retribution to his victim who had to suffer the consequences of his deplorable actions.

"GMP will do their absolute utmost to thoroughly investigate all reports of this type of crime and would always encourage victims to speak to us."