Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

A CON­VICTED child killer who was on the run for a week from a prison in North­ern Ire­land was dis­cov­ered in Bray on Mon­day and sub­se­quently con­veyed to the North where he was ar­rested by PSNI of­fi­cers in Newry.

John Clif­ford was al­lowed out on day re­lease from a Belfast prison on Sun­day, Septem­ber 9, but didn’t re­turn.

Af­ter a week on the run he was spot­ted by mem­bers of the pub­lic near Bray Dart Sta­tion.

Clif­ford was con­victed in 1989 of rap­ing and killing his eight-year-old niece, whose body was found near dis­used rail­way tracks near her New­town­abbey home.

Gar­daí are be­lieved to have ap­proached Clif­ford in Bray but didn’t have the power to de­tain him as an in­ter­na­tional ar­rest war­rant hadn’t been is­sued.

How­ever, a lo­cal source said that when the gar­daí left the area the killer feared for his own safety af­ter be­ing iden­ti­fied and asked that the gar­daí be called again.

He was sub­se­quently con­veyed back up to the North where he was handed over to PSNI of­fi­cers in Newry who im­me­di­ately ar­rested him.

A lo­cal source in Bray said the killer was be­lieved to have been liv­ing in a tent in the north Wick­low area.

An ap­peal by the PSNI and gar­daí for in­for­ma­tion from the pub­lic about Clif­ford’s where­abouts had re­ceived a pos­i­tive re­sponse with re­ported sight­ings of the killer in the Dublin area in the days im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing his es­cape.

A spokesper­son for the PSNI told this news­pa­per that the force was very grate­ful to the gar­daí and the pub­lic for their as­sis­tance in lo­cat­ing the con­vict and fa­cil­i­tat­ing his re­turn to North­ern Ire­land.

John Clif­ford.

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