Questions asked over two month delay in police reporting disappearance of Sheffield rapist who absconded from court

Questions have been asked over a two month delay in South Yorkshire Police reporting the disappearance of a rapist who absconded from Sheffield Crown Court.

Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 13:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 13:07 pm

Ramion Tomlinson, aged 32, absconded from Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday, December 6 on the day he was found guilty of rape and sentenced to nine years in prison. 

Ramion Tomlinson

But his disappearance was only revealed yesterday – two months after he went to ground.

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Tomlinson, aged 32, fled from Sheffield Crown Court while jurors were taking a lunch break during his rape trial on Thursday, December 6.

He was not in police custody while he was on trial for the rape offence and was sentenced in his absence after he vanished during proceedings.

South Yorkshire Police said that ‘investigations have been on going’ to locate Tomlinson but he remains outstanding and the force is now appealing for the help of the public to locate the fugitive.

The rapist is around 5ft 3ins tall and has black hair.

He is believed to frequent the Manor, Stradbroke and Wybourn areas of Sheffield. 

Members of the public are warned not to approach Tomlinson but to dial 999 if he is spotted.

After coming under fire from concerned members of the public in social media posts over the delay in making Tomlinson’s disappearance public, the force said: “An investigation to locate Tomlinson’s whereabouts was immediately launched.

“His details were recorded on national and international systems and officers have been actively seeking out further information and intelligence to trace him.”

Gemma Lindsay said the public ‘should have been warned’ about a convicted rapist being on the loose.

Joanne Garth Linley agreed and said: “South Yorkshire Police, he is a risk to women and girls. This should have been made public at the time. I am pretty sure you are aware that most of your tip-offs come from the general public, surely this is common sense to get this information released sooner?”

Stuart Crutchley also expressed his concern in a Facebook post.

He said: “So all the time he’s been on the run how many more female victims could there have been whilst none of the public even knew that there’s a convicted rapist on the run around them?”

Leann Fearon added: “Hopefully they made his victim/victims aware of the fact he had absconded from court.

“But I'd of thought the sooner they released details of his escape the quicker he would have been caught as the public would have been aware.

“He could be sat in the sun somewhere for all anyone knows.”

Wendy Mitchell Gibbs also raised concerns over the delay in South Yorkshire Police publicising Tomlinson’s escape.

She said: “He escaped in December and they’re just telling everyone now. Ridiculous. How many more women might he have raped in the two months he’s been on the run?”