McAteer ‘arrested at Manchester airport’

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Aiden McAteer was reportedly arrested at Manchester Airport earlier tonight on his return to the UK.

The 23-year-old was taken into custody earlier today over the hit and run death of four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens.

Violet-Grace Youens

Violet-Grace Youens

Pictures circulating on social media, reportedly taken by Violet’s uncle, Kieran Byren, show McAteer being arrested on the tarmac at the airport this afternoon.

Police say McAteer fled the country three hours after Violet-Grace was knocked down and killed on Prescot Road, St Helens, last Friday.

There has been unconfirmed speculation McAteer travelled to Holland and spent several days in the country.

However, a police spokeswoman tonight confirmed he was arrested by officers in this country.

Violet-Grace, four, died when she was hit by a stolen car on Friday, March 24.

Police launched a search for a man they later named as McAteer, saying they believed he had fled the country.

He will be questioned by detectives on Merseyside today.

Yesterday (Wednesday), his mother, Alicia McAteer, made a public appeal for her son to give hand himself over to the authorities.

She said: “I need him to come home.

“He’s running scared. “I know what he’s done to this family is horrific and what they’re going through, but he is my son and as a mum myself I’m worried about where he is and what his state of mind is.”

Mrs McAteer said she felt “numb” after seeing a CCTV image released by police after the crash of her son.

She said she contacted police after seeing the photo.

She said: “I was just thinking of that poor woman and little girl

“I don’t condone this and if I could go back in time I would.”

The mother of four, who has another son, 18, and two daughters aged 11 and 20, said she would usually hear from Mr AcAteer every day, but had not heard from him since before the crash.

She said: “I’m a mum to children and I don’t know how I would feel if this happened to them.

“What I’m feeling is probably a fraction of what she is.”

She added: “This is a nightmare but my nightmare is not half as bad as it is for that family.”

Dean Brennan, 27, appeared at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with assisting an offender, theft of a motor vehicle and the aggravating offence of allowing oneself to be carried within a stolen vehicle.