Police: McAteer not arrested abroad

Police have confirmed Aiden McAteer was arrested in the United Kingdom and not abroad.

Thursday, 30th March 2017, 8:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:28 pm

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

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.

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Violet-Grace Youens

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

It is unclear whether he handed himself into detectives voluntarily or whether he had returned to these shores and was seized.

The force spokesman declined to reveal the whereabouts of his arrest or whether it was at an airport or ferry port.

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

Violet-Grace Youens

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.