On-the-run rapist caught in Earlston

Convicted rapist Nathan Lucas, who was found hiding from police in Earlston.
Convicted rapist Nathan Lucas, who was found hiding from police in Earlston.

A VIOLENT rapist who went on the run from police for a month has been arrested in Earlston.

Nathan Lucas, of Nuneaton in Warwickshire, was detained late last Wednesday night after a nationwide appeal – 273 miles away in the Borders village.

Six-foot, four-inches tall Lucas went missing during his trial at Warwick Crown Court in Leamington Spa on June 21.

In his absence, he was found guilty of four counts of rape, one attempted rape and false imprisonment. His crimes included raping two teenage girls and attempting to rape a 26-year-old woman.

Jurors heard that he tied up two of his victims, who he met through internet dating sites, before subjecting them to terrifying sex attacks.

Warwickshire Police officers believed the tattooed 25-year-old could have been anywhere in the United Kingdom, with Lucas having links to Scotland and Wales. As a result, officers appeared on BBC TV show Crimewatch on July 12 with a photograph of Lucas to appeal for information on his whereabouts.

At the time, Warwickshire Police’s Detective Inspector Tony Mumford said: “We now need to urgently locate Nathan Alan Lucas so that he can be sentenced.

“These are extremely serious offences that normally attract a significant sentence and the court has issued a warrant for his arrest.”

Twelve people contacted the programme to help, and after extensive enquiries Borders police officers swooped on Earlston to arrest Lucas. It is not known how long he had spent in the region.

Detective Inspector Gill Young, of Warwickshire Police’s rape investigation team, said: “Lothian and Borders Police acted on our behalf to effect the arrest. We are delighted that Nathan Lucas is in custody and he can now be sentenced.

“We hope the fact that he is back in custody brings some comfort to the three woman who bravely came forward to give evidence at his recent trial.

“We are very grateful to the public who provided a number of new leads that greatly assisted us in our enquiries.”