Police are hunting a convicted paedophile who ran away from court before a jury could return their verdict.

Ian McDonald, 39, absconded from St Albans Crown Court yesterday before he was found guilty of charges of indecent assault against a three and a half year old child.

He has been sentenced to four years in prison and must register as a sex offender for life.

This morning Hertfordshire Constabulary launched a county-wide manhunt for the convict from Hemel Hempstead.

Anyone who knows of his whereabouts or believes they have seen him should contact police immediately via the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.