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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Convicted sex attacker on the run
Stephen Burnell
Burnell has been on the run since February, police say
Detectives hunting a convicted sex offender who abused a nine-year-old girl have released his photograph in an effort to catch him.

Stephen Burnell, 54, has been missing since February when he was due to appear before York Crown Court charged with a string of sex offences.

He was convicted in his absence in March and sentenced to seven years behind bars.

He had lived in York but had later moved to Gwynedd in north-west Wales.

Police said he had not been traced despite a nationwide hunt.

Indecent assaults

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said his photograph had not been made public earlier at the request of the victim's family.

His offences, committed between February 2000 and February 2004, include attempted rape and indecent assaults.

Burnell is described as 5ft 6in tall, with a red complexion, short ginger hair and a full beard.

He had previously lived in York but had moved to north Wales in the months leading up to the court case.

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