POLICE are hunting for a suspected rapist who went on the run before he could stand trial.

Costas Sampson, 20, was reported missing at 1am on February 21, a matter of hours before his trial was set to being at Harrow Crown Court.

The Greek Cypriot, of Oakwood Park Road, New Southgate, is accused of raping a 32-year-old woman in Ruislip, West London, on Valentine's Day last year.

Detectives have issued a fresh appeal for his capture after his co-defendant, Charalambos Pittordis, was convicted of voyeurism and theft.

Pittordis, 21, of Trafalgar Ave, Tottenham, was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Monday to a suspended six-month prison term, ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, pay £725 in compensation, and sign the Sex Offender's Register for two years.

He admitted filming a serious sexual assault on his mobile phone, as well as stealing a Blackberry, an iPhone, a laptop, a Nintendo Wii and computer games, on February 14 last year.

Detective Inspector Ali Fenton, from the Met's Sapphire unit, said: "I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone who knows the whereabouts Costas Sampson to make contact with police.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 0208 721 9100 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.