A man who raped a 13-year-old girl while she was shopping with a friend was tracked down using his Snapchat handle.

Ashraf Khan, 39, approached the teenage victim and her 14-year-old friend in a shop in Abbey Road, Barking, on August 11, 2021, and began talking to them.

He went on to rape one of the girls before fleeing the scene, but had given them his social media details - and police used those to bring him to justice.

Khan, of Emily Duncan Place in Forest Gate, Newham, was jailed for 15 years at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday (February 7).

The victim reported the incident to police on September 30 that year and an investigation was launched.

The Metropolitan Police said officers were able to identify Ashraf quickly as he had given his Snapchat handle to the girls before the offence.

Officers found he lived just a minute from the crime scene. When arrested, he admitted he had been with the girls but denied any crime.

He was convicted of two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault at Snaresbrook Crown court in November 2023.

The Met said the girls were supported by specialist officers throughout the investigation and court proceedings.

Detective Sergeant Charlie Yexley, from the local policing team in Barking, praised the two girls for coming forward to the police and their families for supporting the prosecution.

He added: “It is because of their courage that Khan is behind bars and unable to cause harm to any further victims."

Officers urged other victims of sexual assault to contact the police dialling 999 or 101 as soon as possible so they can support them and investigate the crime.