A SICK sex offender who officers in Barnsley were searching for for months before he was found in Scotland has been jailed for 16 years.

Shaun Wightman, 57, went on the run just two days into his Sheffield Crown Court trial this year where he was charged with sexual offences against a young girl.

He appeared at the same court last Friday after being found guilty of eight counts in his absence.

These included three counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, two counts of causing or inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 and taking indecent images of a child.

He had been hiding in a house in Scotland - where children were present - before being arrested on Halloween.

PC Sarah Nelis said: “Wightman has shown himself to be a coward that refused to accept responsibility for his crimes and went to incredible lengths to avoid the courts and facing justice for his obscene behaviour.

“He sexually exploited and abused his victim while she was under ten, and her bravery and stoicism throughout our investigation and then the delayed court process is truly admirable.”