Man who raped and murdered child dumping her body on railway line is on the run

Police have launched an urgent man hunt after John Clifford aged 56 has gone in the run after being allowed out of prison to attend an appointment.

He raped and murdered an 8-year-old girl dumping her lifeless body on a railway line.

Clifford failed to return to Maghaberry Prison and is now at large.

He was originally jailed in 1989 for murdering his niece Sue Ellen who he raped and strangled while she was just 8.

The monster left her for dead on a a deserted railway line in 1988.

Police have urged anyone who sees him to contact them immediately after he was last seen on a “three-wheel mobility scooter”.

He was released from prison in 2005 but returned in 2007 after breaching the terms of his release.

When Clifford was released from prison he was hidden in a safe house as loyalist paramilitaries have vowed to kill him.

Inspector Paul Noble said: “We have initiated enquiries to locate John Clifford. He is described as being 1.75m tall with green eyes and fair hair. He is of medium build with a fresh complexion.

“When last seen he was wearing a black beanie style hat, heavy black coat, grey trousers and black dress shoes.

“He was last seen using a distinctive three-wheel mobility scooter bearing the registration plate EXZ4974.

“Members of the public or anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact us immediately on 101.”