Manhunt launched to find rapist William White, 24, who failed to attend court after being sentenced to 5 years in prison | The Sun

COPS are desperately hunting a rapist who attacked a woman at a party in 2020 after he failed to turn up to court.

William White, 24, from Hackney, London, was sentenced to more than five years in prison for rape and sexual assault yesterday, Tuesday August 1.

However, White did not attend the sentencing, and police are now hunting the man down. White was found guilty of raping a woman at a party while she was asleep by a unanimous jury on Friday, May 19.

On January 17, 2020, White hosted a social gathering at his home in Hackney, which the victim attended along with a friend. She described for the court how she had trusted White, having already known him through friends.

The victim fell asleep at the party and later woke to find White raping her. She reported the incident to police just days later, on January 19, 2020.

White was arrested by detectives two days later and an extensive investigation was carried out across London and the south-east. He was charged with the offence on December 20, 2021.

Detective Constable Jamie Merrill, the investigating officer, said: “White subjected the victim to a horrifying ordeal when she was asleep and vulnerable. Throughout the trial he attempted to mislead the court about his actions, but the 12 men and women of the jury correctly identified his dishonesty and convicted him unanimously of rape.

“Significant resources are being brought to bear to apprehend White so he can face justice. I urge anybody with information about White’s whereabouts to contact police immediately.”

The victim attended White's trial, and bravely spoke out to give evidence against her attacker. PC Rita Stepanoviene, a specialist officer who worked on the case supporting the victim-survivor, added: “I wish to thank this young lady and her close friend who came forward to provide the crucial evidence needed to convict White.

"They have both been incredibly brave, and by coming forward they have undoubtedly protected others from being targeted by this dangerous individual. We hope this case shows we will always take reports of this nature incredibly seriously.

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"We would urge any others who may have been subject to these types of offences to come forward and speak to us – at the very least so that we can make sure you are supported."

White will be placed on the Sex Offender Register for life and will be managed by specialist officers when he is released from prison.

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