Wanted Morecambe sex offender arrested

An OAP convicted of 31 child sex offences has been arrested after failing to appear at court.

Monday, 10th April 2017, 9:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:45 pm
A CCTV image of John Blacktop.

John Gilbert Blacktop, 81, of Marine Road West, Morecambe was on trial at Bradford Crown Court but failed to turn up for court on Wednesday, March 29.

The pensioner was convicted of 31 child sex offences including one rape and an attempted rape in the 1960s and 70s.

He abused five girls between the ages of five and 14, said Lancashire Police.
Following a series of appeals by police and public sightings, Blacktop handed himself in at Blackpool police station at around 10am on Saturday.

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The pensioner had been staying in Nottingham but was seen in Manchester before travelling to the Fylde coast, police said.

He was caught on CCTV on a bus in Victoria Square, Cleveleys, before being spotted in the Dock Road area, close to Lytham Quays on Friday.

The following day, amid a series of public appeals for information, the former choirmaster handed himself in to police.

He was convicted in his absence and sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Police want to thank all those who helped and shared the appeal to find Blacktop.