Bristol

Ex-Bath newsagent Lewis Knight gets 15 years for rape

Lewis Knight also known as Luis Caballero
Image caption Knight fled to Spain to escape an earlier child sex abuse trial

A former Bath newsagent who fled to Spain while accused of child sex abuse has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for rape and indecent assault.

In 2000, Spanish national Lewis Knight, also known as Luis Caballero, fled the UK before he was due to stand trial.

The 60-year-old was tracked down in Spain and was extradited last year.

Jurors at Bristol Crown Court found Knight guilty of 11 charges, including rape, indecent assault and gross indecency with a child.

Girls groomed

Detective Inspector Mike Williams, of Avon and Somerset police, said: "The verdict today was a fitting tribute to the bravery and determination shown by the three victims in this case, who were determined to ensure that Lewis Knight was held accountable for his terrible crimes."

The jury took under three hours to convict Knight, of Torres de Segre, near Barcelona, of the rape and indecent assaults of victims who were aged between 13 and 15, at a newsagents in the 1990s.

The jury was told that he groomed the girls by paying them higher wages.

Andrew Macfarlane, prosecuting, said Knight was arrested, interviewed and charged by police in 1999.

He was released on bail pending his trial but applied for a passport which was granted, and he then fled the UK.

"He failed to attend for his trial and inquiries were made and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Until quite recently he was in the Barcelona area of Spain," said Mr Macfarlane.

Knight remained free until last year when British police located him and he was arrested, the court heard.

The crimes took place at a newsagents on Mount Road, Whiteway, which has since changed hands and is now a general store.

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