'Kiwi' headed for UK court after 13 years

AN ALLEGED child sex offender is to be extradited from New Zealand to the UK 13 years after failing to show up for trial there.

He obtained NZ citizenship while authorities fumbled over extradition.

Alan Ross Keenan is accused of five charges of indecent assault on a girl and two charges of gross indecency with a female.

The alleged offending dates back to August 1999 and March 2002.

Mr Keenan was arrested in the UK in April 2002 and pleaded not guilty. He was due to stand trial in May 2003, but had travelled to NZ by then and did not show up for trial.

In the High Court in Auckland, Judge Toogood dismissed an appeal against the extradition order.

Mr Keenan's sense of grievance that such a lengthy period had expired before the authorities finally apprehended him in NZ was "understandable”, the judge said.

"There is considerable force, however, in the respondent's submissions that Mr Keenan brought these consequences upon himself by failing to appear at his trial in May 2003,” he added.

While authorities were working on extradition, Mr Keenan got a NZ passport, changed his name to Alan Mackenzie MacDonald and visited his mother in the UK, taking a ferry from Ireland to avoid having to show his passport to UK authorities.

NZ HERALD



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