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Monday, June 27, 2022

Kirklees child sex offender who fled country after arrest finally jailed

Mr Zaman was arrested as he tried to re-enter the country after fleeing in 2019 after being arrested but not sentenced for child sex abuse.

A man who fled the country and was convicted in absence for rape offences following a major child sex abuse investigation is now behind bars.

Umar Zaman, 34, from Huddersfield was arrested on 30 May while attempting to return to the UK and appeared before Leeds Crown Court on 7 June.

He had fled the country after being arrested as part of the Operation Tendersea investigation and was sentenced in his absence to eight years in November 2019 when a jury found him guilty of two counts of raping a teenage girl in Kirklees.

A jury found Mr Zaman guilty in absence of two counts of rape in 2019.

Police issued a wanted appeal for him and pledged enquiries would continue until he was made to answer for his crime.

The 34-year-old had an additional eight months added to his sentence for failing to surrender to bail and will now serve those additional eight months on top of his eight-year custodial term.

Operation Tendersea has been a long-running investigation by police and partners into the non-recent sexual abuse of young females in the Huddersfield area.

It has resulted in combined jail sentences of more than 470 years being given to men jailed so far.

Senior officers have said that the arrest of Mr Zaman should serve as further proof that police will never give up on pursuing those who attempt to escape justice.

DCI Ian Thornes of  Kirklees District Police, said: “We have maintained as a force that we will do everything possible to seek justice for victims of sexual abuse in Kirklees and pledged we would not stop the hunt for Zaman till he was located and brought to justice.

“He is now behind bars where he belongs and his arrest and conviction should serve as a warning to those who think they can escape justice that the police will not stop till they are made to answer for what they have done.”

He added: “We continue to urge victims of sexual abuse, whether ongoing or from many years ago, who have not contacted us to do so.

“Specialist West Yorkshire Police officers will always listen and always investigate as well as work with partners to provide the support victims might need.”

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