A man who went on the run during his trial has been jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of raping a six-year-old girl.
Jason Jeffcoate, 41, of no fixed abode, was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday after being convicted in his absence of one count of rape last September.
He was found by officers back in April 2016 after the victim came forward to report the incident. Both Jeffcoate and the victim lived in Rotherham when the offence occured.
Det Con Joanne Smithson said the girl, now an adult, had shown "incredible bravery" to report the incident.
She added: "The victim in this case has shown immense courage and bravery in coming forward to tell us what happened to her. She had made disclosures to family members before but hadn’t felt ready to report it to officers.
“Thankfully, she came forward in 2016 and we were able to quickly arrest Jeffcoate and bring him before the courts. Despite trying to avoid trial, he was convicted in his absence and was arrested in London shortly after, where he has remained in custody ever since.
“He has shown no remorse for the devastating impact he has had on this woman’s life and I’d once again like to praise her for coming forward to report what happened. I hope that knowing Jeffcoate will be behind bars for the next decade will offer her some closure.
“All victims of sexual offences, no matter when the offence took place, are encouraged to get in contact with us. We will look in to and thoroughly investigate all cases and do whatever we can to secure convictions and bring offenders before the courts for these heinous crimes.”