Belfast Telegraph

On-the-run child killer spotted at Northern Ireland train station

An on-the-run child killer has been spotted at a Northern Ireland train station.

John Clifford remains unlawfully at large after failing to return to Maghaberry Prison on Sunday.

Clifford (56) had been released to attend an appointment but failed to return. His offences include murder, indecent assaults and cruelty to children.

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

Police in an update in their appeal to help trace him said they believe he was spotted boarding a train at Lanyon Place Station - formerly Central Station - on Sunday just after 1pm.

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.”

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Prison Service said: “The Prison Service remains focused on returning him to custody and we would ask anyone with information to contact the PSNI.”

Clifford was originally jailed in 1989 for murdering his niece Sue Ellen.

He 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.

There are currently 10 people listed as being unlawfully at large from the Northern Ireland prison service.

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