Rapist spent decade on run
A SEX attacker who went on the run for almost 10 years has finally been brought to justice.
Former Folkestone resident Carl Sparks fled the country and later started a new life using an assumed name before he was arrested in February last year.
Now the 37-year-old has been jailed for 13 years for assaults and sex offences on two girls and two young women dating back to 1993.
Maidstone Crown Court heard that one of the victims, who he met at an Ashford nightclub in 1994, was a drug addict and died last year from a heroin overdose.
The judge said that by going on the run Sparks had delayed “closure” for his victims and that the 32-year-old woman who died never received it.
Sparks was originally due to stand trial in November 1996, but fled to France and Spain before returning to the UK.
He was finally tracked to Leicester, where he had established a motorcross business.
Sparks, of Woodshawe Road, Leicester, stood trial in June last year charged with abducting a 16-year-old girl in November 1993.
Victim Emma Conway, now 29, told how Sparks took her on a terror drive lasting several hours in the Thanet area, before finally taking her home.
Sparks, then living in Margate, denied false imprisonment but was convicted. Sentence was adjourned until the other charges against him, including rape, had been resolved.
Describing the rape offences as grave, Judge Andrew Patience, QC, said that there were only two things that could be said in Sparks’ favour. One was that he had committed no further offences since 1996 and the other was that he had now pleaded guilty, sparing his victims from reliving their degradation.
Sparks was jailed for 11 and a half years for the offences against the four victims and 18 months for failing to attend his original trial.
He was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from being in the company of children without supervision.