Rapist William Orchin who sparked nationwide manhunt after going on the run gets 14-year jail term

A rapist who sparked a nationwide manhunt when he went on the run after his shocking crimes were exposed has been jailed for 14 years.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 20 June, 2019, 17:14
William Orchin

William Orchin disappeared from his home, in Houghton, in March and became the subject of an intensive police search after twovictims bravely broke their silence about attacks he had subjected them to.

The 34-year-old, who was travelling in a Vauxhall Corsa, was tracked down to a hospital in Inverness area, after he had tried to end his life.

Judge Stephen Earl praised the victims for their bravery in coming forward.

The judge said: "It is absolutely amazing and a credit to these (victims) they were able to tell someone when they were.

"Many people don't come forward at all. Many other people don't come forward for a considerable number of years.

"Both girls were brave, brave enough to tell someone."

Prosecutor Matthew Donkin told the court Orchin, of no fixed address, has pleaded guilty to 16 charges including one offence of rape and 15 of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual assault.

The charges relate to two child victims.

The court heard the sickening extent of Orchin's offending was exposed after one of the children used social media to confide in a friend, who helped her find the courage to tell her mum.

Mr Donkin said: "She contacted a friend of hers, on a social media app, to tell her friend she needed to tell her something.

"She then reported to her friend he had been touching her and she wanted to tell her mum but was too scared."

The court heard the victim was "crying and unable to speak, panicking" during the video conversation but the friend eventually convinced her to speak out.

Mr Donkin added: "The friend sensibly suggested she send her mum a text message."

The court heard the other victim had also confided in a friend about her ordeal.

Orchin found out he was about to be reported to the police and went on the run.

Mr Donkin said: "The defendant left the local area and was reported as a missing person.

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"He was traced to Scotland and arrested, seven days later, from hospital in Inverness, to where he had been admitted following an episode of self harm."

In a victim impact statement, one girl said she finds her attacker "disgusting" but now feels "positive about the future" after finding the courage to speak out.

Mr Donkin said: "She feels happy and safe and really feels like a different person."

The other victim said she feels "relieved" to have spoken out about what she went through and said she had been "sad and scared" for too long.

She said: "I now see a nice future.

"I have cried too much, I want to go forward to what life has in store for me, in a good way."

Alec Burns, defending, said Orchin was considered a "decent man" before the truth was revealed.

Mr Burns added: "He is very contrite, he thinks about what he did all the time.

"He has no idea how he could or why he would do such things.

"He tried to commit suicide when it all came out."

Detective Constable Steve Hawkins, of the Force's Safeguarding Department at Northumbria Police, said: "Today is a day of closure for these victims after suffering unimaginable abuse.

"I want to commend the bravery of the victims in coming forward and I hope it gives them some solace that this man is now behind bars and will never be able to abuse them again.

"I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of any form of abuse to speak out and seek help."

After the case, Detective Constable Steve Hawkins of the Force's Safeguarding Department said: "Today is a day of closure for these victims after suffering unimaginable abuse.

"I want to commend the bravery of the victims in coming forward and I hope it gives them some solace that this man is now behind bars and will never be able to abuse them again.

"I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of any form of abuse to speak out and seek help."