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Child killer arrested after week on the run

Convicted child killer John Clifford was arrested by the PSNI in Newry
Paul Ainsworth

CHILD killer John Clifford was arrested last night after a week on the run from authorities.

The 56-year-old, who was jailed in 1989 for the rape and murder of his eight-year-old niece Sue Ellen Clifford, was arrested by police in Newry.

Cliifford was on day release from Belfast's Burren House unit for prisoners approaching the end of their sentences when he absconded on Sunday September 2.

Police said he was spotted boarding a train to Dublin at Belfast's Lanyon Place Station, where he abandoned a mobility scooter.

In recent days it was reported that during his time on the run, sightings of him had been made in Balbriggan Co Dublin, and in Dublin city, with a member of the public posting online that she had spotted him close to Temple Street Children's Hospital.

Yesterday, the PSNI said he was being returned to prison following his arrest.

Clifford is also serving time for convictions including cruelty to children and indecent assault.

Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell said: "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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