A former law lecturer who went on the run has been jailed for 21 years after he was returned to the UK and put on trial for child sex offences.
Julian Myerscough, 57, a former criminal law lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, fled from Ipswich Crown Court in September 2015, before a jury found him guilty of downloading indecent images of children.
He was arrested in Romania in July 2018 and returned to the UK in August.
On his return he was charged with 11 further offences, including two of raping a girl under the age of 13.
He was found guilty of all counts by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, and was jailed for 21 years, with an extended licence period of a further five years, Suffolk Police said.
The force said the offences were committed against three victims between 2001 and 2010.
Myerscough was found guilty of two counts of raping a girl under the age of 13, four counts of assaulting a girl under the age of 13 by penetration, four counts of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of 14, and one count of assaulting or ill-treating a child to cause unnecessary suffering.
Myerscough, originally from Bolton but who was living in Lowestoft, Suffolk, initially fled to Ireland after he absconded in 2015.
He was spotted on a ferry from Holyhead and was detained at a Dublin city centre hotel by Garda officers under a European Arrest Warrant in October 2015.
However, he thwarted extradition efforts with a series of appeals over two years, and was released from prison in Ireland as the High Court in Dublin deemed in August 2017 that too much time had passed.
A decision was taken to sentence him in his absence in September 2017, with a judge handing down a jail term of three years and six months.
Officers tracked him down in Romania, and evidence they uncovered, including coded text messages he had sent which made references to child abuse, formed part of his trial, police said.
Detective Chief Inspector David Henderson said: “Myerscough is a dangerous, evil and vile individual and this trial has highlighted a dark side to a man regarded by many to be a respectable university law lecturer, a man who has demonstrated over a period of several years a powerful sexual interest in very young girls, a man who was an enthusiastic and persistent paedophile, and a man who now stands convicted of child sexual abuse and rape, and will spend a significant part of the rest of his life in prison.”