POLICE are hunting an alleged child rapist who has been missing for two months.

Gavin Cooper, of Pennys Lane, Fordingbridge, was on bail and due to appear in court accused of raping a young girl.

But the 37-year-old has not been seen since June 4 and police cannot find him, a court was told.

Despite the seriousness of the alleged offences, a spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said Cooper “does not pose a threat to the general public” and the force has refused to release his picture.

Bournemouth Crown Court was told how officers visited Cooper’s address on June 5 after his electronic tag recorded he had breached his bail conditions by not returning home.

A spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said: “As a result of this breach, local uniform officers were made aware and numerous attempts were made over the following weeks to locate him.

“As a consequence of these enquiries failing to trace the man, a warrant for his arrest was issued by Bournemouth Crown Court and police have circulated him nationally as wanted.

“Police are continuing to follow lines of enquiry to locate this man. He does not pose a threat to the general public.”

Asked why it took more than a month for Cooper to be placed on the national wanted list, the spokesman said: “Essentially, we needed to follow up on our lines of enquiry before we circulated the details of this man.”

A warrant was issued for his arrest on Friday, August 1, at Bournemouth Crown Court.