A convicted paedophile who was sentenced to prison after going on the run has been arrested and jailed as he tried to return to the UK three years later.
Umar Zaman, 34, was part of a grooming gang who abused teenage girls in Huddersfield.
But he fled the country for Pakistan after being arrested as part of West Yorkshire Police’s Operation Tendersea investigation into historic child sexual exploitation.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison in his absence in November 2019 after a jury found him guilty of two counts of raping a teenage girl.
He was eventually arrested on 30 May this year, while attempting to return to the UK, and appeared before Leeds Crown Court.
As well as the original sentence, he will serve eight months for failing to surrender to bail.
Det Chief Insp 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 until 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.”
‘Vile and wicked’
Zaman was part of a gang who preyed on girls as young as 12. Vulnerable girls were plied with drugs and alcohol and passed between men in Huddersfield.
At their trial, the judge branded the gang’s activities “vile and wicked” and said they “defy understanding”.
Zaman is one of dozens of men sentenced as part of Operation Tendersea – a long-running investigation by police into abuse in the Huddersfield area.
The inquiry has resulted in combined jail sentences of more than 470 years so far.
Det Chief Insp Thornes 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.”