Police hunting alleged child rapist Gavin Cooper who has been on the run for two months

Police hunt alleged child rapist who has been on the run for two months

Police hunt alleged child rapist who has been on the run for two months

First published in News
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POLICE are hunting an alleged child rapist from Fordingbridge who has been on the run for two months.

Gavin Cooper, of Pennys Lane, was due to face trial at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday, August 4, for raping a young girl.

The court heard the 37-year-old, who failed to attend court, has not been seen since June 4 and police have failed to locate him since.

Cooper is also facing 12 charges of making indecent images of a child by downloading them from the internet on his mobile phone while in Frome, Somerset.

The images were uncovered after Cooper allegedly sold the phone on Ebay and the buyer notified the police.

Despite the seriousness of the alleged offences, a spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said Cooper “does not pose a threat to the general public” and the force has refused to release his picture.

Officers visited Cooper’s address on June 5 after his electronic tag recorded he had breached his bail conditions by not returning home.

A spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said: “As a result of this breach, local uniform officers were made aware and numerous attempts were made over the following weeks to locate him.

“As a consequence of these enquiries failing to trace the man, a warrant for his arrest was issued by Bournemouth Crown Court and police have circulated him nationally as wanted.

“Police are continuing to follow lines of enquiry to locate this man. He does not pose a threat to the general public.”

Asked why it took more than a month for Cooper to be placed on the national wanted list, the spokesman said: “Essentially, we needed to follow up on our lines of enquiry before we circulated the details of this man.”

A warrant was issued for his arrest on Friday, August 1, at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Cooper is due to face trial for rape at Bournemouth Crown Court in January 2015.

He is due to face trial for making indecent images of children at Taunton Crown Court in September.

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