Rapist spent decade on run

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

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.

Carl Sparks

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.