A CONVICTED sex offender who fled the country before he could be jailed has been caught following an investigation by North Yorkshire Police.

Pavels Zuravskis, 27, was tracked down to the Netherlands where he was detained by UK officers yesterday and is being brought back to York under police escort.

When he appears in front of a court, he will be jailed for his original sentence and could face further prison time for absconding.

Latvian-born Zuravskis, who was working in the UK, sexually touched a woman in Malton in 2015. He lived in the area at the time of the offence. He was charged and taken to court where he pleaded not guilty. But he failed to attend his hearing.

In January 2017, a judge jailed Zuravskis for two-and-a-half years in his absence and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the rest of his life. A European Arrest Warrant was issued by the court.

Detective Inspector Eamonn Clarke said: “We worked tirelessly to bring him back to face justice."

“As is the case here, it can take some years to do so. But is shows that we will not stop in the search for justice against those who commit serious offences and abscond from the UK. We will do everything we can to find you. Special thanks go to my colleague Paul Somerville from the Force Intelligence Bureau who worked hard with the logistics and liaison to ensure this extradition was possible.

“One of the worst things about this case is the additional anguish and upset Zuravskis has caused to his victim by going on the run.

“She has received support from specially-trained officers and agencies that specialise in helping victims of sexual offences, and I hope his capture provides some closure for her.”