An appeal is to be made on BBC Crimewatch to trace a convicted transgender rapist who may be living as a woman or a man.

In November 2016, Lisa Hauxwell, 48, was sentenced in her absence to 14 years in prison for two rapes and seven indecent assaults, which happened in the Newton Aycliffe area in 2001 and 2002.

The woman – who was born under the name Craig Hauxwell – has been on the run from police for several months and police hope the television appeal will lead to her capture.

It will see the public shown two mugshots of Hauxwell, one of her as a man and another as a woman.

Police say she has links to her town of birth Darlington and may possibly be living as a man.

Her last known address was in Leeds but there has been no record of her at that property for many months, detectives added.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said on Monday (6 March): "On tonight's Crimewatch programme, which starts on BBC1 at 9pm photos showing Hauxwell as both male and female will be shown in its 'Wanted Faces' segment in a bid to bring her to justice.

"Hauxwell speaks with a stutter and when last seen on CCTV in the West Yorkshire area last year she had bleached blonde, shoulder length hair."

Det Insp Yvonne Dutson added: "We have carried out exhaustive enquiries to trace Lisa Hauxwell and these are continuing.

"There has been no activity on her bank account for several months, no record of any dealings with agencies such as the DWP or HMRC and no confirmed sightings of her since she was recorded on a security camera at a petrol station in Dronfield, Derbyshire in April 2016.

"Hauxwell was convicted of two rapes and seven indecent assaults, which were truly horrendous crimes. We hope the appeal on Crimewatch will bring new information which ultimately will result in her being locked up and sent to prison to begin her sentence."

An incident room – telephone number 0191 375 2550 - will be staffed during the programme in case anyone rings in with information following the appeal on Crimewatch. After tonight any other calls relating to Lisa Hauxwell's whereabouts can be reported to police on the usual non-emergency number, 101.