A 10-YEAR-OLD boy saved his sister from a sex offender when he jumped on to a moving stolen jeep to help free her.
The criminal, who is on bail for robbery and wanted for questioning for other crimes, attempted to abduct three children on Wednesday afternoon. He is a convicted child sex offender but is not on the sex offenders list as the offence dates back to the 1990s.
Sources revealed that the sex offender has become “especially volatile” after he became embroiled in a bitter family row in recent days.
The 10-year-old boy was hailed a hero in Laois last night after he saved his 12-year-old sister from abduction.
The incident happened after the criminal stole a 2004 registered Nissan 4x4 jeep in Kilkenny on Tuesday evening before making his way to he midlands on Wednesday morning.
At Durrow, Co Laois, he begged for cash from a priest before making his way to the Culahill area at 11am.
Here he encountered three siblings – two boys and their sister – and tried to lure them into his stolen van. When they refused to get into the vehicle, he got out, picked up the 12-year-old girl and put her into a back seat in the stolen Nissan and attempted to take off.
As he did so, the girl’s younger brother jumped on the driver’s window and started roaring and striking at the abductor to let his sister out.
“He was roaring and punching and making as much noise as possible,” a source said.
The 34-year-old criminal was distracted and the girl managed to open the door and jump clear of the moving jeep. Her brother also escaped unharmed.
The three children ran home to their father while the criminal left the area.
He also stole cash from a collection box at Culahill church.
Alerts as to what had just happened were sent via social media and on a community text system amid fears that the culprit may make a second attempt to abduct children.
Anne-Marie Bowe, principal of the local Cullahill National School, said the school texted all parents asking them to pick their children up promptly when school finished.
All available resources from the Laois/Offaly garda division were put into tracing the culprit and officers received several sightings of the criminal and information regarding his movements from the public.
Gardai traced the culprit to the Castlecomer area of Kilkenny where they swooped and arrested him. The stolen Nissan was also recovered.
He was brought back to Portaloise Garda Station for questioning. The criminal is on bail for a robbery and is wanted for questioning by gardai for several other robberies.
He is known for robbing from priests in the south-east of the country.
He has lived across Waterford, Wicklow, Carlow and Kilkenny and is considered highly dangerous.