Grantham sex offender finally caught after evading justice for 25 years

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A sex offender who fled his home in Grantham and evaded justice for 25 years after stealing the identity of his lover’s husband is finally behind bars.

Michael Evans fled May 1988 just days before he was due to stand trial at Lincoln Crown Court accused of sexually assaulting a young girl.

A warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in court but it was a quarter of a century before he was finally tracked down.

Evans,then known as Michael Kime, left his then partner Elaine to run off with his friend Martyn Foster’s wife Susan. The couple initially lived in a tent and did farm work for cash in hand.

He used Martyn Foster’s birth and marriage certificates to obtain a passport that enabled him to travel to Greece to pick olives at the end of the English land work season.

And then, when he was back in England, he needed a licence to allow him to drive tractors as part of his farm work.

He sat his driving test using Mr Foster’s name and so then had a licence under his assumed name.

Jolyon Robertson, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that the couple settled in Kent and changed their names by deed poll to Evans.

But the scam came crashing down in 2012 when police carried out a cold case review into the disappearance of Susan Foster, as she then was, who still remained on the missing persons list from 1988.

As a result they tracked down Susan and then discovered the man she was living with was on the run.

The original sex case was re-opened but the court papers including the original statements had been lost.

Officers were able to track down the complainant, by then in her late 30s, and she gave a fresh interview confirming her original allegation that she had been abused a number of times starting when she was just eight years old.

By the time he resurfaced, Evans had been removed from the wanted list on the Police National Computer although the warrant for his arrest was still in place.

He was finally detained in December 2013 and after being remanded in custody faced trial in front of a jury at Lincoln Crown Court.

Evans, 61, who originally lived in Hornsby Road, Grantham, and last in the Margate area of Kent, was convicted of two charges of attempted rape, six charges of indecent assault and two charges of indecency with a child. He denied all the charges.

Before the start of the trial Evans and his wife Susan Evans, also 61, each admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between 1988 and December 2013 by doing a series of acts to assist Michael Evans evade arrest and prosecution.

Both will be sentenced in January. Michael Evans was remanded in custody after Recorder Gareth Evans told him “It has got to be prison. There is no alternative.”

Susan Evans, who was of previous good character, was granted bail.