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Haslingden sex offender caught in London
A SEX offender who went on the run from his Haslingden home is awaiting sentence.
Alan Clune, 32, was hunted by police after he went missing in May, and an inspector said at the time he may be a risk to the public.
He was said to have been caught in Hammersmith, west London, after 10 days and brought back to East Lancashire where he was taken into custody at Burnley.
Clune is on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and should notify police of any change of address within three days.
In December 2002, the former Big Issue seller, who knew he was HIV positive, was locked up for four years after raping a man from Oldham in Swansea city centre.
Clune was said to have also known he had hepatitis B when he committed the offence after drinking with two other homeless men on September 5 that year.
He was placed on the register after pleading guilty to the attack.
On Wednesday, Clune appeared at Burnley Crown Court, where he admitted breaching the notification requirements of the register.
The defendant, who has now flouted the order three times, was said by his barrister to be in the final stages of AIDS and to have skin cancer.
Clune, who had originally denied the allegation, was bailed until February 25 for medical evidence and reports.
Amanda Johnson, prosecuting, said police had gone to Clune’s home in relation to a completely unrelated matter and found that he was no longer living there.
She continued: “He was under the police radar for about two to three weeks.
“He was eventually tracked down in London, arrested and brought back up.”
Tim Brennand, defending, told the court that Clune would ‘sofa surf’ from time to time when he got into difficulties.
The Crown accepted that his actions were not a precursor to any sexual offence.
The barrister continued: “I will be arguing for a suspended sentence. He says he was abiding by the spirit of the order rather than the exact letter.”
Recorder Robert Crawford told the defendant: “These orders are meant to be obeyed.
“You can’t just do what you want.”