Suspected paedophile, 80, arrested at Heathrow after three decades on the run abroad

​Richard Burrows mugshot

Richard Burrows, 80, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Thursday after being on the run for 27 years

Police Handout
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 02/04/2024

- 22:47

Richard Burrows fled the UK in 1997 after failing to turn up to his trial at Chester Crown Court

A suspected paedophile who has been on the run for almost three decades has been arrested after returning to the UK from Thailand.

Richard Burrows, 80, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Thursday and has been remanded in custody.

His hearing will take place on June 21, a court spokesperson said.

The 80-year-old has been wanted since December 1997 when he failed to attend Chester Crown Court to face trial for two counts of a serious sexual offence and 11 counts of indecent assault.

Heathrow airport

Burrows was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Monday


The offences are believed to have taken place between 1969 and 1971 at Danesford children’s home in Congleton, Cheshire.

Burrows instead fled the country and has remained on the run for 27 years.

Detective Inspector Eleanor Atkinson, from Cheshire Police, said: “Our determination to locate Burrows has not faltered over the past 27 years and his arrest marks a significant step forward in this case and the beginning of closure for all those involved.

“I also hope that his arrest acts as a warning to any other wanted suspects - demonstrating that no matter how long you hide, we will find you and you will be arrested.”


She added: “I would like to thank the public for the information that they have provided over the years during our search for Burrows and I hope that his arrest provides some reassurance.”

The police has consequently issued a warning to other wanted suspects, telling them: “No matter how long you hide, we will find you.”

Numerous appeals were launched in order to locate him, including one on a 1998 episode of Crimewatch.

Duncan Burrage, a National Crime Agency international liaison officer in Thailand, said the arrest “demonstrates law enforcement’s unwavering commitment to hunt down those who await justice in the UK".

Russians Thailand

Burrows had been living in Thailand before returning to the UK, where he was arrested upon landing

Tourism Thailand

“Utilising our international network and working closely with Cheshire police colleagues, we have been able to track down a fugitive wanted in connection to extremely serious allegations,” he said.

Appearing at Chester Crown Court today, Burrows only spoke twice – once to confirm his non-appearance 27 years ago and again to verify a warrant for his arrest had been given.

National Crime Agency (NCA) worked with the force to bring about the arrest. They said they discovered that Burrows was living in Thailand and planning on taking a flight back to the UK, where Cheshire police would be able to apprehend and arrest him upon landing.

Following his hearing in June, he will stand trial in January 2025.

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