Lecturer sentenced in absence over indecent images after going on run to Ireland
A former law lecturer who went on the run from court in England before a jury found him guilty of downloading indecent images of children has been sentenced in his absence.
Julian Myerscough, 55, a former criminal law lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, absconded from Ipswich Crown Court in September 2015 and travelled to Ireland.
He was convicted, shortly after he went missing, of 13 counts of possession of indecent images of a child and three counts of breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
A warrant for his arrest was issued and he was spotted on a ferry from Holyhead to Ireland.
He was detained at a Dublin city centre hotel by Garda officers under a European Arrest Warrant in October 2015.
However he thwarted extradition efforts with a series of appeals over two years, and has now been released from prison in Ireland as the High Court in Dublin deemed too much time had passed.
A decision was taken to sentence him in his absence at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday.
Myerscough, originally from Bolton but who was living in Lowestoft, Suffolk, was sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, Suffolk Police said.
He had been remanded in custody after first appearing before the High Court in Dublin and Suffolk Police were working with Irish officials and the National Crime Agency to bring Myerscough back to the UK.
However, he lodged a number of appeals to his extradition with the Irish courts, and in August 2017 the High Court in Dublin directed that he should be released from prison, deeming that too much time had passed and he was being unlawfully detained.
Myerscough was convicted of similar offences in 2010 when he was given a 15-month prison sentence.
Judge Emma Peters, sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court, said that just because he had been in custody in Ireland for two years, it did not necessarily mean this would be taken off his sentence.
Detective Sergeant Simon Fitch, of the Protecting Vulnerable People Directorate, said: "Julian Myerscough was twice convicted of possession of indecent images of children - most recently 13 counts of possession of indecent images of a child - as well as three counts breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order that was put in place following his first conviction.
"After fleeing Ipswich Crown Court while his trial was going on, police launched a manhunt to trace him and following close liaison with the National Crime Agency and Irish police he was successfully detained in a hotel in Dublin under a European Arrest Warrant, hours from boarding a flight that would have taken him to Hungary.
"We immediately began attempts to extradite him back to the United Kingdom, but he has done everything possible to challenge, frustrate and delay these efforts, culminating in the High Court in Dublin ruling he should be freed from custody in Ireland.
"Julian Myerscough is a convicted sexual offender and I am pleased that he has finally been sentenced. However, he appears to be unable to accept responsibility for his own actions and seems determined to avoid facing his punishment.
"He may currently be living as a free man, but I am confident justice will catch-up with him eventually and will we continue our efforts to return him to the United Kingdom so that he can serve the sentence handed down to him yesterday."