Fugitive, 80, wanted for historic child sexual abuse arrested at Heathrow after 27 years on the run

Tuesday 2 April 2024

An 80-year-old fugitive wanted for alleged historic child sexual abuse has been apprehended at Heathrow Airport after evading authorities for nearly three decades, according to a statement from Cheshire Police.

Richard Burrows, accused of sexually assaulting minors, was arrested on Thursday upon his return to the United Kingdom from Thailand, a police spokesman confirmed.

Burrows had been a fugitive since December 1997 when he failed to appear for trial at Chester Crown Court on two counts of buggery and 11 counts of indecent assault against children.

The charges stem from alleged abuse between 1969 and 1971 at a children's home in Congleton, Cheshire, and in the West Midlands region.

Richard Burrows, accused of sexually assaulting minors, was arrested on Thursday upon his return to the United Kingdom from Thailand.

Burrows had been a fugitive since December 1997 when he failed to appear for trial at Chester Crown Court on two counts of buggery and 11 counts of indecent assault against children.

"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 Detective Inspector Eleanor Atkinson of Cheshire Police.

"I would like to thank the public for the information that they have provided over the years during our search for Burrows, and I hope that his arrest provides some reassurance.

"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," Atkinson added.

Efforts to apprehend Burrows since his 1997 disappearance included a Crimewatch appeal broadcast in 1998.

Duncan Burrage, National Crime Agency international liaison officer in Thailand, stated, "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."

Burrows appeared before Chester Crown Court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody ahead of a June 21 hearing, according to a court spokesman. A provisional trial date has been set for January 13, 2024.

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