A convicted paedophile who fled London during his trial has been captured by police.

Richard Pentreath, also known as Hilary Thomas, failed to show up at Woolwich Crown Court for the conclusion of the case against him. The 64-year-old of no fixed address abused three children in Greenwich, London and Coventry between 1975 and 1992.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command launched an investigation in 2013 when one of Pentreath’s victims contacted the police and told them about the abuse she suffered as a child. Her evidence led to police contacting two other victims.

During his trial the court heard Penreath had committed offences against two girls and a boy aged between nine and 15 years at the time.

In his absence he was convicted on Tuesday, October 4 of 13 counts of rape and indecent assault.

A police hunt was launched to track down the criminal so he could be sentenced and officers appealed to the public for information. Penreath was arrested by police on Friday, October 21 in Gloucester in a joint operation.

Police in North Wales also wanted to speak to Pentreath about arson at an address in Prestatyn, Wales during the early hours of Thursday, October 6.

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