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Justice served Man who fled to Ireland more than 30 years ago after raping and molesting teens is jailed

'No matter how much time has passed, serious sexual assaults will not be tolerated by Cumbria Constabulary'

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Michael Connors (48) also known as John Connors

Michael Connors (48) also known as John Connors

Michael Connors (48) also known as John Connors

A man who fled to Ireland more than 30 years ago after raping a teenage girl and molesting another has been jailed in the UK.

Michael Connors (48) also known as John Connors, of Donegal, was this week sentenced to four years at Carlisle Crown Court after pleading guilty to the charges.

Connors, a married father-of-seven, absconded from a hearing at the same court in November 1990.

He was brought to justice after being arrested for a minor offence and having his DNA shared on an EU-wide database.

He admitted rape and indecent assault charges and was jailed for four years.

The offences relate to incidents in May 1990 in Distington when Connors had been staying at a travellers' camp site in the Workington area as a 17-year-old where he attacked the two 15-year-old girls in May 1990.

He raped one girl in the back of his van and then assaulted another who had been in the vehicle after he took her to a field.

His DNA was recovered from one of the girls' clothing and he was picked out in an identification parade but protested his innocence.

In a recent statement, the rape victim said the incident had a "dramatic impact" on her life.

The woman who had been assaulted "had nightmares and was in a right mess", prosecutor Peter Warne told the court.

Detective Sergeant Jim Grattan of Cumbria Constabulary said: “No matter how much time has passed, serious sexual assaults will not be tolerated by Cumbria Constabulary and we will do everything within our power to hold them accountable for their actions and bring them to justice.”

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“I’d like to thank the victims for their bravery, this has been ongoing for the last 30 years and today justice has been finally given and hopefully gives them closure,” Detective Sergeant Grattan added

“Every effort was made to identify Connors, who gave his name as John Connors in 1990 but didn’t provide a correct date of birth.

“In 2019 a match was found in Ireland for a Michael Connors.

“Connors was arrested and brought to custody in Carlisle.”

He added: “I would encourage anyone who has been victim to a sexual offence to contact police so that our officers can investigate."

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