Suspected rapist flees to Limerick after TV exposé

GARDAÍ were assisting Kent police last night in trying to track down a man wanted in England in connection with child rape allegations who has gone on the run since appearing on the BBC Crimewatch programme last Monday.

Limerick gardaí are awaiting an arrest and extradition warrant for Noel Kelly who returned to Limerick some months ago after he skipped bail in England.

Kelly, who is in his 50s, is wanted by Kent police in relation to 17 counts of rape and indecent assault on young girls.

Kelly returned to his native Limerick after fleeing Britain. He still has a number of relatives living in the city.

Up to Monday last he was working as a fork lift driver at a factory in the Raheen industrial estate.

Detective Sergeant Denis Treacy of Roxboro Road garda station said: “His picture was put out on the BBC Crimewatch programme last Monday night and we received a call from a viewer who identified him.

“We immediately contacted the Kent police but when we went to his flat in Raheen he had gone on the run. He either saw the programme or somebody alerted him and he hasn’t been seen since.”

Mr Treacy said gardaí are awaiting a European extradition warrant from Kent police. Kent police alsoreceived calls from Limerick as soon as the item went out on Crimewatch.

A spokesman said: “We have lots of leads we are following up. We have an incident room set up. He is wanted on 17 counts of rape, indecency with children and indecent assault against two girls.

‘‘He was arrested, but skipped bail and is now on the run. He is 5ft 4in and has connections in Kent and Ireland.”

Mr Treacy said Kelly is not wanted for any crimes in this country.

Kelly is now one of the most wanted men in Britain and the appeal on Crimewatch was one of the main features of last Monday nights programme.

Limerick gardaí have been in contact with their colleagues in divisions around the country as they suspect Kelly has more than likely gone to ground in this country rather than travelling back to Britain.

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