A Scottish rapist who fled to the US and tried to fake his own death has finally been jailed.
Kim Avis, 57, was facing more than a dozen charges for sexual offences, including some against children.
Th ex-market trader from Inverness was due to stand trial in March 2019 but instead travelled to California before trying to disappear altogether.
Avis was reported missing at Monastery Beach a month before he was due in court.
The notorious surfing spot is nicknamed ‘Mortuary Beach’ because of the high number of drownings which have occurred there.
But the American authorities did not believe he was dead and grew even more suspicious when they learned of the charges he was facing in Scotland.
After five months on the run, the US Marshals Service finally tracked him down to Colarado Springs, more than 1,200 miles from the place he vanished.
Avis was extradited and put on trial for 13 sexual offences, which took place between 2006 and 2017, and another charge of failing to attend a court date.
He was found guilty of raping three of his victims and sexually assaulting a fourth after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow last month.
Avis, who denied all all the sexual offence charges throughout, was sentenced to 15 years at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday.
His sentence includes 12 years for the sex crimes and another three after he pleaded guilty to failing to appear for the original trial.
Fraser Gibson, procurator fiscal for High Court sexual offences, said the rapist had gone ‘to great lengths to evade justice for his crimes’.
Avis – who is also known as Kim Gordon – was a well-known trader in Inverness and previously received a good citizen award.
He claimed he decided to go on the run because he believed he would ‘not receive a fair hearing’ after a ‘near-death experience’ in California, the court heard.
Police Scotland said they hope his conviction is a message to other victims that ‘it is never too late to report to the police’.