A Thai boxing instructor who groomed girls, invited them into his gym for sleepovers and sexually abusing them, has been jailed for six years.

Peter Feeley used his position as instructor to assault teenagers and satisfy his "appetite for depravity," police said. The court heard he was nicknamed "Mr Touchy-Feeley" for his actions.

Feeley, owner and coach at Spartan Muay Thai gym in Middleton, Rochdale, came to police attention when a teenage girl was reported missing from home on Sunday 14 May this year. The girl was found safely a short time later, and the 56-year-old was arrested in connection with her disappearance.

While police were examining Feeley's mobile phone, they discovered evidence he had been grooming the teenage girl. He referred to her as his "young wife" and sexually assaulted her on at least four occasions. During one incident he wore a t-shirt that read: "Don't forget to smile."

After initially being told to lie by Feeley, the girl eventually told police they had had sex three times at his gym and once on the night she was missing. Officers found he had filmed their sexual encounters without her knowledge.

Police also soon discovered Feeley had also abused others, regularly inviting young victims to his gym for sleepovers before buying them alcohol and sexually abusing them.

Feeley, of Spring Gardens, Middleton, pleaded guilty at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to child abduction, four counts of sexual activity with a child and three counts of indecent assault. He was jailed for six years and told to sign the sex offender register for life.

Speaking after the sentencing on 15 November, Detective Constable Hannah Greetham, of Greater Manchester Police's Rochdale Borough, said: "Feeley wrongfully used his position to exploit young girls to satisfy his appetite for depravity.

"There is no excuse for the devastating abuse he has mercilessly inflicted on these young girls' lives, who have been so brave in reporting his cruelty.

"No-one should be subjected to sexual abuse and I want to send a message to people who have become victims of sexual offences - you do not have to live alone with this. It's never too late to make a report and there is always support available to you and we will do everything in our power to bring people like Feeley in front of a judge."