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On-the-run kidnapper is arrested after four years

A man who was on the run for four years in relation to the kidnap and attack on dissident republican Bobby Tohill has been arrested.

Detective Inspector Trevor Briars told Belfast Crown Court that following a bench warrant issued in May 2006, he arrested 41-year-old north Belfast man Henry Joseph ‘Harry' Fitzsimmons in Aughnacloy yesterday.

Solicitor Philip Breen said there was no bail application so Lord Justice Girvan remanded Fitzsimmons into custody and said he will sentence him next month.

Fitzsimmons, from Spamount Street, was part of a four-man gang that abducted Mr Tohill from a city centre bar and bundled him into a van where he was severely beaten in February 2004. A member of the public who saw Mr Tohill being forced into the van called the police and the van was intercepted near Castle Street.

All four men — Fitzsimmons, 39-year-old Thomas Tolan from Ballymurphy Parade, Gerard McCrory (38) of Dermott Hill Road and Liam Rainey from New Barnsley Crescent — pleaded guilty to kidnapping Mr Tohill but all failed to turn up to be sentenced.

Since then Tolan and McCrory have been arrested and in January 2007 were jailed for six-and-a-half years and seven years respectively.

Liam Rainey is still being hunted by police.

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