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BBC Wales's Caroline Evans
"Detectives believe his affection for his dog could lead to his capture"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 22 August, 2000, 18:29 GMT 19:29 UK
Police track rapist to France
Gwent Police graphic
Gwent Police have spoken to Masters' friends in the UK
Interpol has revealed it now has a "more precise idea" of where missing rapist Trevor Masters may be hiding in France.

The international police network has received sightings of the 48-year-old, from one holidaymaker who followed his Land-Rover through the Channel Tunnel and from another in Le Touquet who believed he saw him with his dog.

Officials said they were contacting police in France who will assist in attempts to track Masters down.

Gwent Police have confirmed that Masters held a "farewell" party for his friends the night before he absconded.

Trevor Masters with no beard
Masters may have altered his appearance

Detectives hunting the man said he has remained in touch with friends in the UK over the past two weeks, making regular phone calls from the continent.

Detectives said that friends of Masters have told him about his convictions and the extensive search to find him.

He jumped bail while a jury in Cardiff was considering verdicts on 14 charges against him last week.

Police have spoken to his associates in Hereford, Staffordshire and the Midlands since he jumped bail.

They say it is clear that Masters still has strong ties in the UK.

Attacks

It is not known if Masters used a mobile or pay phones when making the calls.

Police said Masters was in Hereford with friends the evening before he absconded, and has been made aware of the fact that he has been convicted of sexual offence charges, and that he is being sought by police.

They said they had made all the information available to Interpol - including details of his Land-Rover and spaniel dog, Jess, which is believed to be with him.

Gwent Police have issued a photograph of Masters - who is six feet five inches tall - which has been altered to show how he might look with shorter hair and no beard.

Masters, from Blaenavon in south east Wales, disappeared while a jury was considering 14 verdicts following attacks on four victims - both women and children.

'A danger to women'

He was later convicted on nine counts.

Judge John Griffith QC defended his decision to grant bail to Masters who was then a suspected rapist and sex offender.

Detective Inspector Mike Jones, who is in charge of the operation, warned that Masters was a danger to women and children.

Anyone with information is urged to call Pontypool police on 01495 764711 or their local police station.

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16 Aug 00 | Wales
Dog may pinpoint rapist
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