Northern Ireland news

Hunt for child killer John Clifford continues

 A manhunt has been launched for John Clifford

THE hunt for child killer John Clifford continued last night.

The 56-year-old failed to return to custody from day release on Sunday.

Clifford raped and murdered his eight-year-old niece Su Ellen Clifford in 1988.

He was released from jail in 2005 but was returned to jail in 2007 after breaching his terms of probation.

Until recently he had been staying at Burren House on the Crumlin Road in Belfast, which houses up to 22 prisoners nearing the end of their sentences.

Clifford had been babysitting his niece in the Rathcoole estate when he later attacked and strangled her as the pair walked along the Belfast to Carrickfergus railway line.

The child’s mother Martha Adair later took her own life.

In 2010 a sister of the victim warned that Clifford could rape and kill another child again.

Clifford was last seen using a distinctive three-wheel mobility scooter bearing the registration plate EXZ 497.

PSNI Inspector Paul Noble also said when last seen he was wearing a black beanie style hat, heavy black coat, grey trousers and black dress shoes.

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