Pervert pensioner who fled justice found by police

John Blacktop
John Blacktop
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The hunt for a wanted pensioner who fled during his trial for child sex offences came to an end today.

John Gilbert Blacktop, 81, was on trial at Bradford Crown Court but disappeared before being convicted in his absence and sentenced to 21 years in prison. He handed himself in to police on Saturday morning.

The pervert, of Marine Road West, Morecambe, had been staying in Nottingham but was seen in Manchester on Friday before travelling to Lancashire, police said.

After being caught on CCTV on a bus in Victoria Square, Cleveleys on Sunday, sightings of the former choirmaster and church organist - guilty of a string of attacks on children aged between five and 14, including rape - were reported in the Dock Road area, close to Lytham Quays yesterday.

Residents said they saw police 'flying around' at around 6.50pm, and a spokesman for Lancashire Police today confirmed officers were investigating a number of sightings.

At around 11.30am on Saturday, Lancashire Police posted on Facebook: “John Gilbert Blacktop 81yrs has now been located. Thanks to everyone that helped.”

Officers said Blacktop handed himself in at Blackpool police station at around 10am on Saturday.