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Convicted murderer 'at large' in Ireland may be extradited back to UK

CourtsBy Sunday World
Gardaí arrested Donovan on foot of the warrant in Waterford
Gardaí arrested Donovan on foot of the warrant in Waterford

A convicted murder, who was “at large” in Waterford after failing to return from temporary release from a UK prison, is awaiting judgment on whether he will be extradited back to Britain.

London-born Robert Donovan (57), with an address at Newtown Road, Waterford City, was arrested by gardaí on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by UK authorities in November, 2014.

He had been serving a life sentence in the UK imposed at Bow Street Magisrates Court for the murder of a man on a London bridge in May 1974.

On June 19, 2010, he was temporarily released from prison with a duty to return by 19.30 hours.

He failed to return, was "unlawfully at large" and “believed to be residing in Waterford”, according to the warrant issued for his arrest.

The warrant states that Donovan had been out with his brother and a friend in the early hours of May 14, 1974 when he met the victim a Mr Thornley, who invited them to join him for a drink at a place he knew.

Their route took them across Hungerford Bridge where Donovan asked his brother's friend for a flick-knife.

Donovan then put the knife to Mr Thornley's throat and asked him what he had on him.

Mr Thornley was stabbed and died from a cut to his throat. His watch and golden bracelet were stolen, the warrant states.

Gardaí arrested Donovan on foot of the warrant in Waterford and he was taken to the High Court where extradition proceedings have been ongoing.

Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly is expected to deliver judgment on Friday.

By Ruaidhrí Giblin