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Double killer and rapist is caught after 13 years here

A double-murderer and rapist has been living in one of Ireland's most picturesque villages for the past 13 years.

Ian Kentzer (45), from Yorkshire, fled to Ireland in 2008 after serving 15 years for burning his grandmother and her sister to death.

Kentzer -- who changed his name to Ioan Thomas -- breached his probation conditions in the hope of setting up a new life here.

He yesterday consented to a High Court decision to be extradited immediately to the UK.

He was previously described in court as someone with a talent for poetry. People who met him found him charming. He had dreams of setting up a wine bar business in Ireland.

Yet the rural Co Wicklow village of Trooperstown, near Roundwood, will have woken up today to learn that one of their neighbours was a dangerous killer.

Debts

Kentzer brutally killed his elderly grandmother Mary Goodrich (92) and his great aunt Jessie Thomas (89), after they discovered he had stolen almost €35,000 from their bank accounts.

He set fire to their Yorkshire home to cover up the theft, which he carried out to pay his cocaine-fuelled debts.

When questioned by police about the blaze, Kentzer admitted: "I wanted to start a fire. The intention was that my gran and Aunt Jess should die."

Kentzer had previously been convicted of statutory rape with a 15-year-old teenager in the mid-1980s.

His release in November 2005 -- after serving almost 16 years behind bars -- outraged family members and he was returned to prison for a short time in 2007.

He fled the UK the following summer and travelled to Co Wicklow, where he set up a cleaning business called Mould Busters. But three weeks ago, Kentzer's years of lies and deceit finally began to unravel.

He was stopped for a speeding offence, but gardai were suspicious when he claimed he only owned a British licence.



revealed

After consulting their UK counterparts, Kentzer's true identity was finally revealed.

The High Court heard how Kentzer was released from prison in 2005 on two conditions -- that he remain in the UK and that he keep in touch with his probation supervising officer and the Child Protection Service.

He fulfilled neither obligation.

The news that a notorious killer went for years unnoticed has shocked locals in the leafy village of Trooperstown.

One local admitted that Kentzer made a poor attempt at pulling off a Welsh accent and "it didn't sound right".

Roundwood-based TD Andrew Doyle has called for an urgent investigation into how convicted criminals from other jurisdictions are traced.

hnews@herald.ie


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