Manhunt to catch ‘dangerous’ child rapist
An international manhunt is under way to catch a ‘dangerous’ child rapist who fled to India the night before his trial – after being allowed bail AND to keep his passport.
Paedophile Vijesh Kooriyil repeatedly raped a six-year-old boy after trapping him in his bedroom in Oxford in 2010 and 2011, the court heard.
The 29-year-old business manager was due to stand trial four days ago, but boarded a plane to Delhi on Monday night – just hours before his court date.
He had been permitted to keep his passport under his bail conditions, which were unconditional because he had no previous cautions or convictions.
In his absence, Kooriyil was unanimously convicted of two child rapes and sentenced to an extended prison term of 18 years at Oxford Crown Court.
Now a global manhunt is under way for the child rapist, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, to be brought back to the UK to face justice.
Passing sentence, Judge Peter Ross branded the abuse ‘appalling’ and said Kooriyil had ‘degraded and humiliated’ his young victim.
He found Kooriyil was a danger to the public, and ordered he would have to serve at least 12 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
He added: “Vijesh Kooriyil deployed the all too familiar ways of gaining a child’s trust.
“He would often call the boy to come and play with him.
“Some of those games were innocent enough, but others took place in the defendant’s bedroom.
“It was there, having secured the door with string and a nail, that the defendant began to rape a six-year-old, then-seven-year-old boy.”
Kooriyil, who came to UK from India as a student, was living in Oxford when he carried out the abuse.
David Smith, prosecuting, said the crimes only came to light after the boy started learning about sex at school and realised what had happened to him.
He added: “He started to feel ashamed about what had happened to him, it made him feel angry and confused.
“He is very suspicious, not with children, but with adults. He cannot understand why he did such a thing to him.”
Kooriyil was arrested in Scotland then released on unconditional bail because he had no previous cautions or convictions.
His passport was not seized because his court bail was unconditional, police said.
He was summonsed by post to attend Oxford Crown Court for trial and attended on November 13 last year to deny both charges.
But he failed to turn up on Tuesday, having ‘misled his solicitors’ and fled the country, before the judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Judge Ross blasted the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for only charging Kooriyil with two rapes, when he was sure the abuse was much more sustained.
He said: “The indictment that has been prepared by the Crown is inadequate – it allows only to sentence on the basis of two incidents of rape.
“This is frustrating, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
“This is a case which on the evidence which I accept, the boy was raped twice a week, or even three times a week at the peak of the offending and that went on until December 2011.”
Judge Ross said if the defendant had been present, the additional counts could have been put to him and he could have stood trial for them.
However, in his absence, the indictment could not be amended.