Man found guilty of raping and abusing young girl jailed at Nottingham Crown Court after he fled to Sicily
A man has been jailed for 18 years after raping and abusing a girl.
Tomasz Kowalkowski carried out the attacks in Nottinghamshire at different times between 2016 and 2019.
The 46-year-old fled to the Mediterranean island of Sicily after he was accused of committing multiple sexual offences against a girl.
Kowalkowski was arrested and questioned in July 2019 and, after a thorough police investigation, was charged with multiple offences.
After he failed to appear at his initial court hearing in November 2020, a warrant was issued for his arrest and intelligence specialists at Nottinghamshire Police began a determined hunt for him.
After reviewing flight records it was established he had left the UK on a flight to Palermo, Sicily, the previous month, although nothing more was known of his whereabouts.
Kowalkowski was eventually tracked to a town in the south of the island following international liaison inquiries with Italian authorities.
Financial inquires were undertaken and it was established he had regularly used the same bank machine to withdraw money.
To secure an international warrant for his arrest, detectives worked to present a ‘court ready’ case against him — racing against time to gather all the evidence they needed before he moved on.
In September 2021 he was eventually arrested by Italian police as he was using the same cash machine. He was extradited back to the UK two weeks later and remanded in custody.
During a seven-day trial at Nottingham Crown Court, Kowalkowski claimed his victim was making up the allegations against him and insisted he had flown to Sicily only to care for a sick relative.
In March, following an investigation by Nottinghamshire Police, Kowalkowksi was found guilty by a jury of one count of raping a girl aged under 13, three counts of sexual assault by touching, three counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13-15 and one count of causing/inciting a girl aged 13-15 to engage in sexual activity.
Kowalkowski, of no fixed address, was jailed for a total of 18 years when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Friday.
He was also made subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
Detective Constable Hayley Denoon, who led the investigation, said: "Kowalkowksi repeatedly preyed on a very young and vulnerable girl. I hope it brings her some comfort that he has now been locked up for a significant time.
“The judge, Recorder Michael Auty QC, paid tribute to the survivor’s bravery and her family’s bravery. They have shown enormous courage and dignity throughout this process.
“The judge also praised the diligence of a teacher and safeguarding staff at the victim’s school who supported her.
“The impact of offences like these are devastating for survivors. No child should suffer sexual abuse and we encourage anyone with any concerns to come forward and report it to us on 101 so we can continue to protect the children of Nottinghamshire."