Monday 25 September 2017

Last image of fugitive rapist Trevor Byrne just hours after he leaves prison

CCTV footage and police mugshot of rapist Trevor Byrne
CCTV footage and police mugshot of rapist Trevor Byrne

Robin Schiller

These are the last known images of a violent Irish sex offender on the run in England after failing to report to his bail hostel since being freed from jail.

A manhunt has been launched for Dubliner Trevor Byrne (39), who has served a number of sentences for rape and other sexual assaults.

He was released from Preston Prison in Lancashire on Thursday after being recalled to jail in March for committing public order and firearm offences while out on licence.

After his release, he was due to go to a bail hostel in the nearby town of Blackburn but failed to attend, breaching his release terms.

Police have issued a recent mugshot of Byrne - who also goes by the name Keith Russell - as well as CCTV images of his last known location, moments after leaving prison. He is not believed to have returned to Ireland.

According to the British authorities, he also has links to Merseyside.

Rapist Trevor Byrne
Rapist Trevor Byrne

Due to Byrne's history of violence, Lancashire Police have warned the public not to approach him.

"Keith Russell is known to have committed a number of violent and sexual offences in the past, so we want to find him as soon as possible," said Det Insp Neil Marr, of the force's sex offenders management unit.

"We have a number of officers working to try to locate him. I would urge members of the public not to approach him but to call us on 999 immediately.

"If you have seen him, please let us know."

Russell is described as five-foot-11, of slim build and with short brown receding hair.

Staff at the Mater Hospital in Dublin were given security advice last year after he was spotted prowling around.

Byrne received a 15-year sentence for raping a girl of 18 in November 1993.

He told the teenager he "had to kill her" before hitting her with a brick.

Released in 2005, he attacked a Filipino woman within 36 hours of leaving prison, threatening to cut her throat.

He received a five-year sentence for that assault and was freed in 2009.

He then attacked a 24-year-old French woman after following her and forcing his way into her home in Phibsborough in September of that year.

Herald

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