A 44-year-old York man is now wanted by Police after failing to attend court for sentencing.
Jason Vincent Longhurst strangled and raped a woman over ten years ago but did not turn up to receive his sentence - he was handed nine years' imprisonment and placed on the sex offenders registers indefinitely at York Crown Court in his absence.
Longhurst attacked his victim when she was a teenager and staying as a guest in his home. The court heard how he entered the bedroom she was staying in and made threats towards her. He then strangled her with a jumper until she became unconscious and went on to rape her.
Sections from the victim’s personal statement were read out in court, where she described the horrendous attack that Longhurst subjected her to at such a young age, and how she felt her dignity and teenage years had been taken from her by his sickening actions.
She also spoke about how the attack has affected her into adulthood and how only due to the counselling and support she has received in the years since the attack, she now felt strong enough to come forward and report it to police.
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.
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.
“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 carrying out enquiries to locate Longhurst and are appealing to the public to report any sightings of him to North Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting reference 12190208646.
Help and support for victims of rape and sexual assault
You will find the website addresses and telephone numbers of local organisations that provide help and support for people affected by rape and sexual assault below.
IDAS – Independent Domestic Abuse Service:
IDAS is a charity that provides comprehensive support services to all those experiencing or affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. IDAS works throughout York, Harrogate and District, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Craven. Visit their website for more information or call 03000 110 110.
Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire
The Supporting Victims service will provide support for anyone affected by crime, whether reported or not, of any age, including children and young people (wherever possible with consent), and parents or guardians of victims under 18. They are able to provide a wide range of support tailored to your individual needs, including immediate practical support and referral onto emotional and therapeutic support services such as Counselling. Tel 01609 643100 or visit their website.
Bridge House Sexual Assault Referral Centre
Bridge House enables victims to receive an informed choice, ensuring that early forensic evidence, guidance and support can be provided by specially trained staff. This enables a victim to make an informed choice about the options they have. For more information visit their website or call 0330 223 0362.