Paedophile's extradition may be blocked by brother

The brother of Britain’s most wanted paedophile has pressed charges against him which may block his extradition from Ireland to the UK.

The brother of Britain’s most wanted paedophile has pressed charges against him which may block his extradition from Ireland to the UK.

Fugitive John Richard Murrell was arrested in Co Kildare in September after seven years on the run.

The 39-year-old had served only half of a two-year jail sentence in England for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl before being released under licence in 2000 and fleeing.

Outlining objections to the extradition, barrister Kieran Kelly told the Irish High Court today a summons has been issued against Murrell for failing to notify gardai of his whereabouts.

The wanted paedophile may have to answer the charge before he can be sent to Britain.

Murrell faces a similar charge in England, if extradited, where the penalty is up to five years in jail. The maximum sentence in Ireland is only 12 months.

The summons was issued in the name of Murrell’s brother, Alan.

Mr Justice Michael Peart told the court he would rule on the extradition next week, but added: “It (the summons) is most unusual.”

The court heard normally a District Court summons was issued on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Attorney General’s office.

In 1999 Murrell was convicted in Worcester Crown Court on three counts of indecent assault on the nine-year-old girl and a further charge of indecency after forcing her and her sister to watch him as he performed a sex act.

He was sentenced to three 18-month jail terms, to be served concurrently, and a six month sentence to be served consecutively.

Murrell was released after 12 months behind bars.

He was freed under licence and ordered to reside in a half-way house in Worcester and to inform West Mercia Police of his address, if he changed address or if was living under an assumed name.

Murrell never contacted authorities and fled the area. It is thought he went on the run with his wife and three children.

West Mercia Police have asked the Irish courts to send Murrell directly to a court in Worcester to face charges relating to his disappearance and breaches of his licence.

After seven years on the run a breakthrough in the case came after his details were posted on the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre most wanted list and gardai and British police began working together.

Two years ago he featured on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme and adverts in British newspapers and there were reported possible sightings of him in Belfast, Aberystwyth, Wales and Blackpool.

Murrell, who is being held under a European Arrest Warrant, was remanded in custody to appear before the High Court next Wednesday when Mr Justice Peart will rule on the extradition.

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