Child killer John Clifford back behind bars

John Clifford

Convicted child killer John Clifford, who was on-the-run for over a week, is back behind bars after being arrested by police in Newry.

Clifford, who was jailed for the rape and murder of his eight-year-old niece Sue Ellen in 1988, had been unlawfully at large after failing to return to prison last Sunday.

He had been allowed out of Burren House in Belfast – a satellite unit of Maghaberry Prison – to attend an appointment.

The 56-year-old was spotted on CCTV boarding a Dublin-bound train at Lanyon Place Station in Belfast that same day.

However, following an operation involving officers from the PSNI and An Garda Síochána, Clifford was eventually detained in Newry earlier today.

“Unlawfully at large prisoner John Clifford has been arrested by police in the Newry area and is currently being returned to prison,” a PSNI spokesperson said.

“Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell added: “I would like to thank our An Garda Síochána colleagues for their assistance in locating Mr Clifford and facilitating his return to Northern Ireland.

“I would also like to thank those members of the public who contacted us with information and the media for their assistance in publicising our appeals for information.”

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