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Friday, October 21, 2005

Howard transferred from North prison

21 October 2005 19:42

A convicted rapist and murderer whom gardaí wish to question about a number of serious crimes has been transferred from Northern Ireland to a prison in England. 61-year-old Robert Howard was taken from Maghaberry Prison this afternoon and flown from Belfast to Newcastle.

The plane landed shortly before 4pm, and Howard was then driven to Frankland High Security Prison in Durham. Howard, originally from Wolfhill in Co Laois is serving a life sentence for murdering a 14-year-old Hannah Williams who disappeared from London in April 2001.

Her body was found 11 months later, 20 miles from her home, in dense undergrowth in Kent.

Howard was acquitted earlier this year of the murder of 15-year-old Arlene Arkinson who disappeared after accepting a lift from Howard in Co Tyrone in August 1994. The jury at his trial at Belfast Crown Court was not told about his previous convictions, including a ten-year sentence for raping a 58-year-old woman in Co Cork in 1973. Howard lived at a number of addresses throughout Ireland in the 1980s and 90s, including Wexford, Dublin, Newry, Monaghan, Castlederg and Letterkenny. Gardaí have formally requested permission from British authorities to travel and question Robert Howard in relation to the disappearances of a number of women as well as other serious incidents.

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