Rapist who strangled teenager during attack in her own home wanted by police after failing to attend court

Police are searching for a rapist who was jailed for nine years for an attack on a teenager after he failed to attend his court hearing.

Jason Vincent Longhurst, of Lindsey Avenue in York, failed to turn up to his hearing at York Crown Court on September 8.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison and placed on the sex offenders register for life in his absence, and police are now trying to track him down.

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The 44-year-old strangled and raped a teenage girl in her own home - where he was staying as a guest - more than 10 years ago.

Have you seen Jason Vincent Longhurst?

The court heard he went into the bedroom she was staying in and threatened her, before strangling her with a jumper until she lost consciousness. He then raped her.

Parts of a statement made by the victim were read out in court, describing the shocking attack and how she felt her dignity and teenage years had been taken from her by him.

She also said it is only due to counselling and support in her adult life that she felt able to report the crime to police.

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Investigating officer Sergeant Hannah McPeake, from North Yorkshire Police, 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. He has shown no remorse for his actions or the pain he has inflicted on his victim, pain which she carries to this day.

“I’d like to commend the bravery of the victim. 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.

“I also hope that this case gives others who may have been subjected to sexual assault or violence in the past the confidence to come forward and speak to police. We take all reports of sexual assault and rape seriously – no matter when the offence occurred and we will treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve.”

Officers are searching for Longhurst and are appealing to the public to report any sightings of him to North Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting reference 12190208646.