Sex offender who fled Britain released by Irish court

Ex-lecturer Julian Myerscough absconded from Ipswich court before jury convicted him

Image issued by Suffolk Police of Julian Myerscough, who  absconded from a British court shortly before being convicted of downloading indecent images of children. File photograph: Suffolk Police/PA Wire

Image issued by Suffolk Police of Julian Myerscough, who absconded from a British court shortly before being convicted of downloading indecent images of children. File photograph: Suffolk Police/PA Wire

 

The High Court on Thursday directed the release from prison of a law lecturer who fled England just before he was due, following conviction, to have been sentenced for making indecent images of a child.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott told barrister Kieran Kelly, counsel for Julian Myerscough that there was a fundamental flaw in the legality of his client’s detention.

Myerscough (54), formerly of Alexandra Road, Lowestoft in Suffolk, was ordered to be surrendered to the UK on foot of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) in 2016.

He was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court on September 30th, 2015, of 13 counts of making indecent images and three counts of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which had been placed on him following a previous conviction for a similar offence.

Before he could be sentenced it was discovered he had boarded a ferry to Dublin and the judge in Ipswich issued a warrant for his arrest. On October 2nd, 2015, gardaí arrested him in Dublin on foot of the warrant.

The High Court in Dublin ordered his surrender to the UK authorities on February 29th 2016, after he had opposed his extradition and he had been detained at Arbour Hill Prison pending extradition to the UK.

Inquiry granted

Mr Kelly had been granted an inquiry under Article 40 of the Irish Constitution into the legality of Mr Myerscough’s detention. He sought his release on the grounds that under law governing European Arrest Warrants Myerscough should have been extradited within 25 days of the order for his surrender having been made.

Following his extradition having been ordered Myerscough brought several inquiries challenging the legality of his detention on foot of the extradition order. These proceedings, none of which had been successful, resulted on a stay having been placed on the 25-day time period.

Mr Kelly claimed that since the Supreme Court issued a determination last month, refusing to hear his appeal, the stay on the 25 day period had ended and Myerscough was being unlawfully detained.

He claimed he had been in custody in excess of the 25 days allowed under the law and that his continued detention was illegal.

Mr Kelly had told the court that when the stay was taken into account his client has been in custody for more than 25 days during which he had not been surrendered or taken before the High Court as required under the relevant regulations.

Myerscough was released from prison within an hour of the judge’s decision.

Mr Kelly was granted a legal aid order to cover costs.