Former Newcastle professor found guilty of five counts of rape and flees the UK

He has been sentenced to 23 years in jail

A famous professor and composer, and former head of music at Newcastle University, is on the run from police having been sentenced to 23 years in jail with a one-year extended license for a number of sex attacks on a young girl.

Agustín Fernández, 62, was found guilty of five counts of rape and six of sexual assault, as well as inciting a young girl to have sex with him.

The professor, who was sentenced in absence on March 16, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

On his blog, Fernández wrote: “If we were not well-bred people who respect each other and if recriminations were to fly across the ether, I do wonder what recrimination the institution would find to throw my way.

“There is any number of ways I might have imagined my time at Newcastle University to come to an end, but not the way it happened.

“That misfortune struck, perhaps, and that there is a limit to how far an institution can sustain a situation of misfortune. If that was a reprehensible act on my part, I have paid for it by falling on my sword.”

The professor had a distinguished career, with his compositions being performed in famous events such as the London International Opera Festival.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “On Monday March 16, the defendant was found guilty of a number of sexual offences in his absence at Newcastle Crown Court.

“It is currently believed that he is out of the country and inquiries are ongoing to trace him.”

A recent music graduate, who was taught by Fernández, told The Newcastle Tab: “He was always a familiar and friendly face around the department, and so to hear about this is shocking. It really throws a shadow over a lot of things. I’m glad justice in terms of sentencing has been found for the victims, and hope that he’s caught soon and his sentence is carried out. I hope this doesn’t affect the music department or their reputation.”