Sex offender may have fled to Europe

A courier given a 13-year jail sentence for a string of rapes and other sex offences on two girls is thought to have fled to Eastern Europe in a hired van full of furniture, it emerged yesterday.

A courier given a 13-year jail sentence for a string of rapes and other sex offences on two girls is thought to have fled to Eastern Europe in a hired van full of furniture, it emerged yesterday.

Questions remained unanswered last night about how Christopher Brown, 58, was able to leave England and get to the Continent without being challenged.

Brown was convicted in his absence at Norwich Crown Court last week of three charges of rape, four indecent assaults and another serious sexual offence. They were carried out on two girls between 1983 and 1989 and he was sentenced to 13 years in prison by Judge Simon Barham.

It has emerged that Brown hired a vehicle on January 9 and loaded it with furniture and is now thought to be heading to Eastern Europe.


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Norfolk police are working with Interpol to try to find Brown and have appealed for anyone with information to contact them urgently.

Police only released sketchy details about Brown and the background to him fleeing the country. They stressed he had no history of jumping bail or missing meetings with police and legal advisers and that he is not considered a danger to the public.

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Brown - who has had various addresses in King's Lynn, Stoke Ferry and Methwold - was due to have stood trial on January 13 at Norwich Crown Court.

When he did not attend, the judge gave officers time to conduct initial searches and inquiries.

The trial then began in Brown's absence last Monday and ran until Wednesday, when he was convicted and sentenced.

Det Con Hayley Gleave, from the Norfolk Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “We know from our inquiries that he left the UK for mainland Europe.

“I'd like to point out that we don't believe he poses a threat to members of the public. However, people should not approach him but should contact police immediately. We know Mr Brown works as a courier so we are appealing for help from people he may have met through his job. He may have mentioned to them his future plans to travel and live abroad. If you recognise this indivi-dual and have had a recent encounter with him or seen him, then please get in touch with us and let us know.”

Det Con Gleave added: “He attended his court plea-and-directions hearing in the weeks prior to the trial and pleaded not guilty. The trial was then set and he didn't attend the first trial date. It is believed he went missing in the days prior to the initial trial date. We must stress that he had no previous history of absconding and he had attended every police and legal appointment. No concerns were raised at any point by any partner agencies.”

Anyone who has knowledge of Brown's whereabouts or information that could help find him should contact Det Con Gleave at Swaffham police station on 0845 456 4567 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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