Belfast Telegraph

Gardai join hunt for on-the-run child killer John Clifford

Gardai are assisting in the search for escaped child killer John Clifford, who absconded from custody last Sunday.

The notorious criminal failed to return to Maghaberry Prison after being temporarily released to attend an appointment.

On Friday a spokeswoman for An Garda Siochana said: "An Garda Siochana are assisting the in the PSNI in their investigation into man unlawfully at large."

He had been released from Burren House on the Crumlin Road, a facility housing 22 inmates nearing the end of their sentences and is a satellite unit of Maghaberry.

He is believed to possibly be in the Republic after being spotted boarding a train at Lanyon Place Station - formerly Central Station - on Sunday just after 1pm.

He was last seen using a distinctive three-wheel mobility scooter with the registration plate EXZ4974, which has since been found.

He was wearing a dark-coloured beanie-style hat, with glasses and a dark heavy coat and was carrying a dark-coloured backpack. He is 1.75m tall with green eyes and fair hair. He is of medium build with a fresh complexion.

Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell said: “I would like to thank those members of the public who have contacted us with information.

"I would again appeal to anyone who may have seen him, or who may have information about his whereabouts to contact us immediately  on 101.

“I would also appeal directly to John to hand himself in.”

The 56-year-old killer was originally jailed in 1989 for murdering his niece Sue Ellen. 

Clifford raped and strangled the eight-year-old, before leaving her on a deserted railway line in 1988.

He was freed in 2005 but thrown back behind bars in 2007 for breaching the terms of his probation.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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