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Sunday 16 June 2019

Killer who fled UK claimed €100,000 of benefits in Ireland

Kenyon escaped detection for up to 15 years

Roy Norman Kenyon
Roy Norman Kenyon

Ralph Riegel

A convicted UK murderer on the run in Ireland for more than a decade received social welfare payments despite not having a valid passport, birth certificate or driving licence.

Cork East TD Pat Buckley has now demanded a full investigation into how State benefits were apparently obtained by Roy Norman Kenyon (64) for anything up to 15 years at various addresses in Ireland.

While it is believed Mr Kenyon did not receive full social welfare benefits for the entire period since 2003, there are mounting concerns he may have received as much as €100,000 during his time on the run in Ireland through both benefits and supports such as rent allowance.

Last night, the Department of Social Protection declined to comment on the matter.

"The department does not comment on individual cases," a spokesperson said.

However, Mr Buckley branded the situation "absolutely outrageous".

"I want to see a full investigation into this. We need accountability here just as we need accountability within the Health Service Executive," he said.

"It is a matter of great concern if a man like this can benefit from social welfare payments while young people and families are having to fight tooth and nail to get benefits they are perfectly entitled to."

Mr Buckley said it was "very alarming" if a convicted murderer on the run in Ireland could somehow benefit from State supports without apparently having either a valid passport or birth certificate.

Kenyon was detained by Castletownbere gardaí, assisted by Dublin detectives, outside Eyeries in west Cork where he had been living for the past year in a tent and a rented caravan.

Castletownbere locals said Kenyon kept to himself, always wore black and was only seen out drinking in a local pub and buying produce in the local fisherman's co-op.

A Garda source indicated that when he was detained on foot of a European arrest warrant issued by Avon and Somerset police in the UK, Kenyon did not have either a passport or a birth certificate.

Gardaí now believe he has been in Ireland since shortly after absconding from Leyhill Prison outside Bristol on May 28, 2003.

He is understood to have spent the majority of his time in Offaly. He used a number of different names, including Alan McFarlane.

He was a teenager when he was convicted of the savage murder of elderly shopkeeper Margaret Potts (74) at Scouthead in Lancashire in 1972.

Ms Potts was beaten to death by Mr Kenyon with a heavy poker following a row over 50p after he had been drinking for the day.

Kenyon absconded from Leyhill in 2003, and had previously escaped from custody at Sudbury Prison in September 1990.

Irish Independent

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