Wednesday 22 May 2019

Child killer is located in Bray after week in hiding

John Clifford.
John Clifford.

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.

Bray People