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Tip-off results in rapist's recapture

PUBLISHED: 15:18 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 July 2010

Laura Bagshaw

THE police officer who led a raid which resulted in the capture of one of the country's one wanted men, said information from the public was the key to the arrest.

THE police officer who led a raid which resulted in the capture of one of the country's one wanted men, said information from the public was the key to the arrest.

“A professional, precise, text book operation,” is how Superintendent Operations for the Eastern Area, Jo Parrett, described last Thursday's operation in which armed police officers swooped on multiple rapist Terrence O'Keefe.

The 38-year-old, earlier described as “extremely dangerous” was captured outside an address in Ordnance Road just after 11am.

It is thought O'Keefe had been staying in the area for some time and police acted after receiving a tip-off from a member of the public. In a meticulously planned operation, police had lain in wait for him to leave the house for the best opportunity to arrest him without endangering the public.

Supt Parrett said: “We received information that this individual was at an address in Yarmouth. As normal, we conducted a thorough risk assessment in order to ensure the operation was effective and safe. During any pre-planned firearms incident we have to take into account public safety as well as the safety of our officers.”

Subsequently, armed and unarmed police took part in Thursday's operation which lasted for about three hours.

O'Keefe, who was serving a life sentence, escaped from King's College Hospital in London after being taken there for medical treatment in February.

The convicted sex attacker had previously escaped from the same hospital in 2005 but was arrested the same evening.

Supt Parrett stressed the importance of tip-offs from the public.

She said: “Once again, I thank the community and members of the public for any information we get. In particular the information received from the public was key in securing the arrest of this nationally wanted criminal.”

She added: “This was a carefully planned and professional operation and I'm proud of the way in which officers worked together to arrest this individual.

“I'm committed to ensuring we make Norfolk as safe as possible and we will continue to conduct operations such as this when we become aware of this information.”

O'Keefe is normally detained in a secure mental facility at Lambeth hospital in central London.

On Saturday, O'Keefe appeared at London's Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court charged with escaping from lawful custody. He was remanded in custody to appear at Inner London Crown Court on June 20.

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