A manhunt is under way for a paedophile from Hemel Hempstead who fled from court this afternoon while jurors deliberated on whether he had sexually assaulted a young child.
Ian McDonald, 39, went on the run from St Albans Crown Court but was convicted in his absence of the historic abuse of a three-year-old almost 12 years ago.
McDonald, of The Heights, Highfield, was sentenced to four years in jail for the abuse, which took place in the town in December 2002, and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Police are now appealing for witnesses to help track down McDonald.
Spokesman for the Herts force Giles Cooper said: “Anyone who knows of his whereabouts or believes they have seen him should contact police immediately on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.”