Belfast Telegraph

Convicted Micky Bo murderer Christopher Francis Kerr arrested after absconding from Maghaberry Prison

(L) Christopher Francis Kerr (R) Michael McIlveen.
(L) Christopher Francis Kerr (R) Michael McIlveen.
Christopher Francis Kerr. Credit: PSNI
Christopher Francis Kerr who was convicted of murder for Ballymena school boy Michael McIlveen
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

A convicted murderer who was on the run from Maghaberry Prison has been arrested in the Antrim area.

Christopher Francis Kerr, 32, from Ballymena, escaped from custody while out of prison on temporary accompanied release.

He is serving a life sentence for the murder of 15-year-old Michael McIlveen in 2006.

Police confirmed just after 9pm on Thursday that Kerr had been arrested in the Antrim area.

Michael McIlveen was killed in a sectarian attack after being chased by a gang and struck with a baseball bat in an alleyway in Ballymena town centre. The teenager, known as 'Mickey Bo' to friends and family, later died from brain injuries.

Kerr was jailed in 2013 and was not due to be considered for release from Maghaberry until at least 2021.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding Kerr's abscondment.

UUP MLA Doug Beattie, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph before Kerr was arrested, said: "This isn't the first time people who are serving sentences for serious crimes have been given the ability to abscond and go into our community and here we have a convicted murderer, a seriously dangerous man, who is now free to roam in our society because the Prison Service have got it wrong yet again.

"I have called time and time again for the rules to be tightened for prisoners like this so that they do not have the opportunity to be able to abscond.

"Again I ask that the Prison Service to look at its systems that they have in place to make sure this does not happen again."

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