Fugitive arrested after 27 years running from child sex abuse charges – National


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One of the U.K.’s most wanted fugitives has finally been captured.

Richard Burrows, now 80 years old, was brought to Chester Crown Court in police custody Tuesday after he failed to show up to his trial in 1997, instead going on the run. After almost three decades evading the law, Burrows will now answer to charges that he assaulted kids at children’s homes in central England from 1969 to 1971, according to a statement from Cheshire police.

Burrows fled England after skipping his 1997 court date. Cheshire police have been trying to locate him since then through multiple wanted notices and an appeal to the public on the BBC’s Crimewatch program in 1998.

The U.K.’s National Crime Agency, which is the country’s point of contact with foreign law enforcement organizations like Interpol, determined that Burrows was living in Thailand and that he planned to fly back to the U.K. on March 28.

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Burrows took the flight as planned and was arrested at Heathrow Airport when he touched down.

“Utilizing our international network and working closely with Cheshire Police colleagues, we have been able to track down a fugitive wanted in connection to extremely serious allegations,” said Duncan Burrage, a National Crime Agency officer stationed in Thailand.

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“This arrest demonstrates law enforcement’s unwavering commitment to hunt down those who await justice in the UK.”

Burrows was charged with two counts of buggery and 11 counts of indecent assault in 1997, stemming from allegations of historic sexual abuse of minors at children’s homes in Congleton and the West Midlands.

In the U.K., indecent assault is understood to mean the crime of non-consensual touching or sexual threat, according to Lawtons Solicitors.

While the crime of buggery was formally removed from English legislation in 2003, it was understood at the time to mean the crime of non-consensual anal penetration.

When Burrows was first put on trial for the charges in 1997, he denied any wrongdoing in an initial hearing before fleeing. He will have to resubmit his pleas during a court appearance scheduled for June.

“Our determination to locate Burrows has not faltered over the past 27 years and his arrest marks a significant step forward in this case and the beginning of closure for all those involved,” said Eleanor Atkinson, a detective inspector with Cheshire police.

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“I also hope that his arrest acts as a warning to any other wanted suspects, demonstrating that no matter how long you hide, we will find you and you will be arrested.”

Burrows appeared briefly in court Tuesday. During the hearing, he only spoke twice — to confirm he failed to appear in court in 1997 and to confirm that the warrant for his arrest had been executed, the BBC reports.

The proceedings were delayed because Burrows has difficulty hearing.

Photos of Burrows heading to trial showed him wearing a grey tracksuit and holding a cane while in handcuffs.

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Fugitive arrested after 27 years running from child sex abuse charges – National

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