London: A 38-year-old convicted child rapist who was allowed to leave his trial and attend a family funeral in the UK is now believed to have fled to Pakistan, prompting British police to launch a manhunt on Monday to arrest him.
Choudhry Ikhalaq Hussain from Rochdale town was convicted last November along with nine others as part of Operation Doublet, an inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rochdale in north-west England. He was convicted in his absence.
He was given permission to attend a family funeral in the UK when he went on the run. He was found guilty in his absence of sexual activity with a child, rape and conspiracy to rape.
Greater Manchester Police now believe he may be in Pakistan and are "determined" to bring him back.
"Operation Doublet was launched following the 2011 investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rochdale and we identified a number of cases, which broadly took place between 2004 and 2008, across Greater Manchester where teenage girls were being sexually exploited by older men," Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Daniels, the Senior Investigating Officer for Operation Doublet said.
"Hussain was one of the offenders identified and he has now been convicted of a number of serious offences but he seems determined to try and get away with not serving his time for the horrendous crimes that he has committed.
"We believe he may be in Pakistan but we are still determined to find him and ensure that he is held to account for what he did. If anybody has any information about his whereabouts then I would urge you to please contact the police," Daniels said.
Hussain was found guilty of three counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of rape and one count of conspiracy to rape following a trial at Minshul Street Crown Court in Manchester on November 30, 2015. He faces a lengthy prison sentence in the UK once he is caught.