Missing person at centre of nationwide manhunt admits rape and child sex offences

William Orchin, from Houghton, went missing from his home in March.
William Orchin, from Houghton, went missing from his home in March.

A child sex attack suspect who went on the run and became the subject of a nationwide manhunt before he could be questioned by the police has admitted his guilt from behind bars.

William Orchin hit the headlines in March when he disappeared from his family home in Houghton and became the subject of an intensive police search that spread across the Scottish border.

He appeared via video link at Newcastle Crown Court.

He appeared via video link at Newcastle Crown Court.

The 34-year-old, who was travelling in a Vauxhall Corsa, was tracked down in the Inverness and taken back to England by officers from Northumbria Police in a 600-mile round trip.

He was then charged with a series of sexual offences.

Orchin, of no fixed address, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court today, via video link from HMP Durham, where he pleaded guilty to all 16 charges he faced.

He must now register as a sex offender and has been remanded in custody until June 20, when he will be sentenced.

William Orchin was captured on CCTV in the Aberdeen area.

William Orchin was captured on CCTV in the Aberdeen area.

Judge Robert Adams told him: "You have pleaded guilty to all 16 counts in the indictment and you made full admissions in interview and you will get full credit for your guilty pleas at the time of the sentence.

"The sentence hearing will be listed on June 20. That will allow time for a pre-sentence report to be prepared and allow those who represent you to obtain a psychiatric report.

"You will appear for the sentence hearing via live link. In the meantime, you are remanded in custody."

Orchin pleaded guilty to offences against two victims, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The charges he admitted include one offence of rape and 15 of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual assault.

Detective Sergeant William Kemp of the Force's Safeguarding Department said: "This man has committed some truly awful crimes but has at least shown some remorse for his actions by not making these victims endure more torture of giving evidence at trial.

"I absolutely commend the bravery of the victims in coming forward and would encourage anyone who has been a victim of any form of abuse to speak out and seek help.

"I think it also highlights the absolute importance of educating children about what sexual abuse is and how to report it. These victims were able to identify themselves as victims after recently learning about sexual abuse.

"This is something that we must all work together on and make safeguarding everyone's business."

Orchin was reported missing from his home address in March. Officers were concerned for his welfare and launched a missing person search.

Officers from Northumbria Police's Southern CID team managed to locate him safe and well, and brought him back to the North East to face questioning.

Detective Inspector Sean Mcguigan, of Northumbria Police’s Southern CID, added: “Today’s conviction of a dangerous sex offender is a result of some outstanding work from a number of departments across the force.

“I would like to thank the team of detectives who carried out a thorough three-day search and helped successfully locate William Orchin, who was eventually found in North East of Scotland.

“His crimes were horrific and he must now face the consequences of his actions.”

If you have been a victim of rape, sexual assault or exploitation, whether this is recent or historic, please come forward and contact police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

To contact the 24/7 Crisis Helpline contact 03333448283. Victims can also contact Victims First Northumbria on 0800 011 3116 who will give independent advice and support.