Fugitive who mutilated aunt caught on Sunshine Coast

Detective Snr Sgt Daren Edwards
Detective Snr Sgt Daren Edwards Cade Mooney

A BRITISH fugitive who mutilated his aunt as a teenager and then evaded capture for 15 years will remain in custody as oversees police seek his extradition.

British-born Simon Hennessey pleaded guilty to killing his aunt in 1978, on grounds that he was mentally unwell when he was 14-years-old.

Hennessey killed his aunt Mary Webber,72, in a brutal knife attack at her home in Plymouth, stabbing her 70 times. He was handed a life sentence but escaped from Leyhill Open Prison in Gloucestershire in 1998.

As revealed in the Sunshine Coast Daily on Tuesday, he was finally caught when police in Brisbane arrested him on the Sunshine Coast over credit card fraud.

According to the Plymouth Herald, Hennessey had allegedly set up false companies to extract credit card details.

He is then said to have used a "skimming machine" to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars from victims' accounts.

Police in Queensland realised that the name Hennessey had given them belonged to an innocent man from New Zealand, the newspaper states.

"They investigated who their mystery prisoner was, and were stunned to discover it was Simon Hennessey.

"More investigations revealed that Hennessey had been allegedly living from the proceeds of frauds under false identities for years."

Sunshine Coast CIB chief Daren Edwards told the Daily the man, was picked up at Tewantin.

"We knew there was more to him and it appears he has used several identities.

"We believe he has moved between Thailand, New Zealand and Australia.

"It looks like he has been coming and going from Australia since about 2003."

The man is believed to have travelled the world using false passports.

The accused is believed to have spent time at Tewantin, Cooroy, Bribie Island and on the Gold Coast.

A UK police spokesman said: "The Avon and Somerset Constabulary are aware of the situation and have been in contact with Queensland Police in Australia with a view to discussing an extradition."

Hennessey appeared before Maroochydore Magistrates' Court on 17 June and is currently in custody pending his next hearing in July.

Topics:  british editors picks fugitive murder police sunshine coast

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