A teenager helped to catch a man who sexually assaulted her by taking photos of his face during a scuffle.
James White, 39, covered the 16-year-old girl’s eyes and dragged her to the ground in Darwen on 25 June, before saying: “I don’t want to hurt you.”
Lancashire Police said White sexually assaulted the victim, who used her phone to take screenshots of his face, as she tried to video call her mother.
White was jailed for two-and-a-half years at Preston Crown Court.
Police said the victim heard White running behind her as she was walking down a street at about midnight.
In a bid to escape, the teenager used her phone to hit White repeatedly.
He tried to knock the device from her hand but the girl believes he was disturbed by the mobile’s noise during the call and so he ran off, police said.
During the scuffle, the teenager managed to take two screenshots, which captured White’s face.
Police were able to identify White using the screenshots, along with CCTV footage of his Mercedes in the area, and he was arrested later that day.
White, of Sudellside Street, Darwen, pleaded guilty to sexual assault and assault causing actual-bodily harm.
He has also been placed on the sex offenders’ register for 15 years.
Det Supt Sarah Tucker, from Lancashire Police, said: “This was a terrifying attack committed against a teenage girl walking home at night.
“Something she was perfectly entitled to do without fear of White engaging in this appalling behaviour.
“I want to praise the bravery and quick-thinking of the victim in this case, who managed to scare off and capture crucial evidence against White.”
Derek Artis, from the Crown Prosecution Service, described White as “a danger to women”.
He said the teenager “showed great courage by using her phone to contact her mother while at the same time fighting him off, causing him to stop the attack and run away”.
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