A 30-year-old man had sparked an extensive search by police, mountain rescuers and a coastguard helicopter when he vanished in Snowdonia following the rape of a child, a court heard on Friday.

Carl Williams, a cocaine-snorting builder who lived in the Caernarfon area, was jailed for eight years and three months with an extra twelve months licence period. A sexual harm prevention order was made at Caernarfon crown court where he sobbed as the case was outlined.

He pleaded guilty to rape, sexual assault and having the drug. Prosecutor Myles Wilson said when Williams was 15 or 16 he sexually assaulted a girl and in 2009 was sentenced to two years in custody for that offence.

Simon Rogers, defending, said: "Custody will be extremely difficult for him.”

Judge Huw Rees said WIlliams had been found sheltering on a hillside, in the early stages of hypothermia, last November. He had ruined lives.

The judge said his offending was described rightly as “unspeakable.”

He added: "You pose a high risk of serious harm to females.”