August 2022

Aberdeen rapist jailed after eight years on the run

A man who admitted raping an 18-year-old woman after being on the run for eight years has been jailed.

Remus Covaciu, 28, attacked the teenager outside a club in Aberdeen in January 2013.

A European Arrest Warrant was granted in July 2020 and the Romanian national was extradited from France to Scotland in April last year.

Covaciu was jailed for three years and nine months at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday.

He admitted rape, failing to show for an earlier hearing, and breaching bail.

Prosecutor John McElroy had previously told the High Court in Glasgow that the victim went to a friend’s birthday party and then to Institute nightclub in Aberdeen’s Bridge Street.

After leaving the club, she was seen on CCTV sitting on the pavement as Covaciu approached.

Covaciu, who lived in the Torry area of the city at the time, was seen talking to the teenager before raping her.

A CCTV operator alerted police to the victim in the street.

Mr McElroy said: “When officers arrived, she was intoxicated, in a dishevelled state and had no recollection [of being attacked].

“Covaciu was traced to a nearby shop by police.”

He was held in custody that night and appeared in court days later.

Covaciu failed to turn up to his trial at the High Court in Edinburgh in November 2013 and failed to sign in at a police station twice while on bail.

A warrant was issued for his arrest.

He was later traced to France, where he had settled with his partner and two children.

Judge Lady Drummond told Covaciu: “You are a first offender and were 19 when this offence occurred. You raped a young woman while she was so intoxicated as to be incapable of refusing or giving consent.

“This young woman was a stranger to you before you committed this offence. You took advantage of her vulnerability for your own sexual gratification.”

She added: “I have read the victim impact statement from the complainer. It is apparent from that that your crime has had a profound impact on her. The delay caused by your departure has prolonged her suffering.”

Covaciu was placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.