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Fugitive Briton faces US court

A British man wanted by police for 19 years after a £1m security van robbery has appeared in a US court.

Eddie Maher, 56, appeared before the US District Court in Missouri wearing a green prison jumpsuit, ankle shackles and handcuffs. The restraints were removed for the hearing.

The preliminary and detention hearing, relating to a charge of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm, lasted about three minutes.

Judge James C England recognised the affidavit in the federal complaint and an immigration detainer.

Maher was represented by a public defender as he could not afford his own lawyer. He will appear again at a later date.

Maher, known as "Fast Eddie" was arrested in Ozark, were he was working for a cable company.

He vanished after the theft of a Securicor van, which he was driving, in Felixstowe in 1993.

He is believed to have been working under a false name, the name of his brother, Michael, and had regularly moved around the US.

The alleged crime happened outside Lloyds Bank in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

It is thought a colleague made a delivery to the bank while Maher waited outside in the vehicle. The van vanished and was later found empty on the seafront.

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