Manhunt for dangerous sex attacker who strangled and raped teenager

·2-min read
Jason Vincent Longhurst. (North Yorkshire Police)

A manhunt has been launched for a rapist who went on the run after failing to appear for his sentencing at York Crown Court.

Jason Vincent Longhurst, 44, was due to be jailed for raping an unconscious teenager he had throttled with a jumper 10 years ago.

He did not attend his trial but was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in jail.

He had denied the charges at an earlier hearing.

The Gazette and Herald reported 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 the victim’s 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.

North Yorkshire Police has appealed for people to report sightings or any information about him.

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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," ITV reported.

Sergeant McPeake added: “To have reached a point in her life where she felt strong enough to come forward and tell police what had happened to her all those years ago takes immense courage, for which she should be recognised. I hope this outcome allows her to move forward with her life into more positive times."

At Wednesday's sentencing hearing Longhurst was also placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

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