Police hunt 'sickening' rapist with 185 convictions three weeks after he went on run

·2-min read
Jason Longhurst

Police are searching for a "sickening" rapist who has been on the run for three weeks.

On 9 September, Jason Vincent Longhurst was found guilty of the rape and strangulation of a teenage girl more than 10 years ago.

The 44-year-old did not attend York Crown Court when he was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed to Yahoo News UK that, as of Tuesday, Longhurst was still on the run, despite an extensive operation to track him down.

Longhurst attacked his victim when she was a teenager and staying as a guest in his home.

The Gazette and Herald reported that the victim was praised for coming forward and giving evidence.

In a personal statement, the victim said: “I cannot put into words how much this has ruined my life.”

The jury heard medical evidence supporting her account that she had been strangled.

They also heard from witnesses who heard the victim scream during the rape and saw Longhurst flee the house where it happened.

No defence was offered, only that none of Longhurst's previous 184 convictions were for sexual crimes.

Along with his sentencing, Longhurst has also been placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

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Detective Inspector Warren Peters of York Investigation Hub said:

“Despite our extensive enquiries Longhurst currently remains outstanding. We will continue the search for him but I would also ask the public to continue to keep an eye out for Longhurst and to remain vigilant for any sightings of him.

“We know Longhurst sometimes uses the name Jason Welsh and that he has connections to the Cardiff area.

"Our colleagues at South Wales Police have been assisting us with our enquiries and supporting our wanted appeal, but there is the possibility that Longhurst could now be anywhere in the country. So we are widening our appeal and requesting the public’s continued support with our search."

After it was clear Longhurst had gone on the run, investigating officer Sergeant Hannah McPeake said: “The sentence handed to Longhurst confirms him for exactly what he is – a sickening predator who preyed on a young girl, who should have been safe in his family home."

The police said anyone who sees him should call 999 quoting reference 12210196408.

Crimestoppers can also be contacted on 0800 555 111.

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