From the news desk

Extradition Hearing for UK paedophile

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A man made his first appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday after being on the run for more than 15 years from child sex charges in the United Kingdom.

A relatively subdued 52-year-old Lee Nigel Tucker, dressed in smart-casual attire, stood before the court for extradition proceedings.

Avon and Somerset police spokesperson Wayne Baker, in England, confirmed to News24 that Tucker had been arrested in Cape Town on their behalf.

“The man is wanted by Avon and Somerset Police in connection with non-recent sex offences committed in the South Wales. The offences are alleged to have occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s,” Baker said.

They had been working closely with the National Crime Agency, Interpol, the Crown Prosecution Service and the SA Police Service.

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut confirmed that they had assisted with the arrest and detention of the UK fugitive on Friday. The arresting officers were attached to the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit.

Representing Tucker in court, lawyer Leon van der Merwe asked for access to the documents used as a basis to secure his client’s arrest.

Prosecutor Maria Marshall detailed the papers she had in front of her.

 These were a request for his provisional arrest, a charge sheet, a UK arrest warrant, a summary of key evidence, a photo of him and copies of his fingerprints.

She committed to making copies of this information available to the defence.

Van der Merwe would apply for bail for Tucker on Thursday.

In the meantime, he would be kept in the holding cells at Sea Point police station. It was not clear when his extradition inquiry would take place.

Tucker was convicted in Swindon Crown Court and fled while out on bail after apparently lodging an appeal.

He made a living in South Africa as a helicopter pilot and instructor.

According to his lawyer, he had been in the country on and off since 2000.

 [Source: News24]

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