Ipswich: Police hunting ‘EU loophole’ rapist

SUFFOLK police are hunting a convicted rapist who had been living in the UK without their knowledge, before fleeing while on bail for an unrelated offence.

Lithuanian Gintautas Lipkinas’s conviction emerged when the 21-year-old, of St Matthew’s Street, Ipswich, was due to appear before the town’s magistrates for an application to put him on the sex offenders’ register.

It was the second time this year that a rapist from another European country was discovered to be living in Suffolk unbeknown to police, until they were arrested for other matters.

In February, an order was made to ensure Juozas Kancauskas, of Fore Hamlet, Ipswich, signed the sex offenders’ register following the discovery of his conviction for rape in Hamburg, Germany, in May 2006.

Neither man was compelled to inform the police of their convictions when they entered the UK, as other countries do not have such strict controls over sex offenders.

The situation has led to East of England MEP Vicky Ford and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer pushing for action to close the loophole and bring in uniformity across Europe in relation to keeping track of rapists and others convicted of sex crimes.

Lipkinas was discovered to be a convicted rapist when police carried out a background check after he was arrested for an unrelated matter.

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It transpired that Lipkinas was convicted of rape on October 9, 2009, at the District Court of Kretinga, in Lithuania.

He failed to attend a first hearing on April 24 this year to apply for an order to put him on the sex offenders’ register.

Two months earlier, Ipswich Crown Court had issued a warrant for Lipkinas’s arrest on February 22 in relation to the previous unrelated matter when he failed to answer his bail for a case hearing.

Two further hearings for the sex offenders’ order application have been listed since April, including one this month.

However, Lipkinas has not turned up on either occasion.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Mr Lipkinas’s details have been circulated on the Police National Computer where it states that he is arrestable.

“Local checks have been carried out by officers to locate him and these will continue.”

At the time of Kancauskas’s case, a Home Office spokesman said: “The UK Border Agency holds a watch list of international intelligence drawn from a variety of sources, including the police.

“The system is used by UK Border Agency staff for the purposes of national security and the detection and prevention of crime.

“We will not accept foreign criminals breaking UK laws, which is why Europeans who commit serious offences will be automatically considered for deportation.”

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