Wearside sex offender fled to America in bid to escape justice for sickening attacks on young child
A paedophile who fled to America in a bid to avoid justice over sex attacks on a young child from the UK has been put behind bars after an international manhunt.
Wayne Wilson, who was already on the sex offenders register, had been interviewed twice over allegations he had targeted the child in sickening attacks he said were a "game".
While waiting to find out if he would face charges, Wilson, formerly of Washington, Wearside, fled the UK, onto Ireland and then set up home in the USA for three years.
Detectives from Northumbria Police's Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) launched a manhunt when it was realised he had gone missing, with assistance from international law enforcement.
The 38-year-old was eventually returned to Britain, under escort by Homeland Security, after being pulled over by the police in the US in a car.
He has now been jailed for six years and two months.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Wilson was put on the sex offenders register previously after being convicted of voyeurism and images offences and should have alerted the authorities about any foreign travel he planned to take.
Prosecutor Christine Egerton told the court: "What he did was he fled the UK to USA.
"At that stage he had not been formally charged with these offences because the postal requisition had not been issued but he was awaiting news of the charging decision, he had been interviewed twice.
"Before he left the UK he failed to give notice to police about the date he was leaving, the country he was travelling to and point of arrival at said country.
"It was only discovered when he did not attend a probation appointment for a sex offender treatment programme and the police made extensive inquiries."
Miss Egerton added: "He was stopped in a vehicle in Kansas state in the USA and when stopped by the American police he produced fraudulent documents, with a false name and false date of birth.
"Police at that stage realised something wasn't right and took him straight into custody.
"Eventually, his true identity was established."
Wilson, now of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to three offences of sexual assault on a child under 13 and breach of notification requirements.
Judge Robert Adams sentenced him to six years and two months behind bars.
Wilson must register as a sex offender and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for life.
Judge Adams said they were "appalling offences committed against a very young child" and said Wilson had made a "concerted effort to avoid detection".
Kate Barnes, defending, said Wilson made the "ill advised" decision to leave the country after he lost his job and his marriage broke down.
Miss Barnes said Wilson, who started a relationship and made friends in the US, sought help from a psychosexual therapist, became a sponsor at sex addicts anonymous and has not offended since.
After the sentencing, the officer in charge of the case, Detective Constable Elizabeth Biggins from POLIT, said: "The fact that Wilson will spend a considerable time behind bars is welcome news to me and shows we will not sit back when seeking justice for victims.
"This man is a prolific paedophile who spent years on the run trying to avoid being brought to justice for a series of despicable offences.
"I hope this goes to show the lengths we are prepared to go to in order to protect children and bring offenders to justice.
"I want to thank our partners from Homeland Security in the USA for their support with this investigation as well as the wider POLIT team, who never gave up."