Police launch urgent manhunt after ‘sickening’ rapist goes on the run from court

Police have asked the public to be on the lookout after for rapist who has gone on the run after failing to attend a court appearance.

Jason Vincent Longhurst, strangled his victim until she was unconscious before raping her.

Longhurst, 44, was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment at York Crown Court, in his absence, and placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

He had failed to appear at a sentencing hearing yesterday, September 8, and is now the subject of a police manhunt.

Officers are carrying out enquiries to locate Longhurst and are appealing to the public to report any sightings of him to North Yorkshire Police

Longhurst committed the rape nine years ago, when the victim was a teenager and had been staying in his home, North Yorkshire Police said in a statement.

He had been released from prison from a sentence for driving offences hours before the rape and was on prison licence at the time.

In a personal statement, the victim said: “I cannot put into words how much this has ruined my life.” Recorder Mariga Mostafa said in court that the rape had had a “catastrophic effect” on the victim and praised her courage in giving evidence.

Speaking about the sentence handed to Longhurst, 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.

“When interviewed, Longhurst actually said he was disgusted with the allegations which had been made against him and pleaded not guilty – despite the evidence that was laid out before him."

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Sergeant McPeake added: “He has shown no remorse for his actions or the pain he has inflicted on his victim, pain which she carries to this day."

Longhurst is a persistent offender. In 2014, he assaulted a police community support officer two days after he was released from a 28-week prison term, and the following year he led police on a high-speed chase that a judge described as "20 minutes of madness".

Any members of the public who see Longhurst should not approach him, but call North Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting reference 12190208646.

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