An Anglesey fugitive charged with child sex abuse has been arrested in Spain after a three-year manhunt.
David Daniel Hayes, described as one of the most wanted men in Europe, fled the UK after he failed to appear in court in November 2015. The 39 year-old, a former Bangor City press officer, stands accused of nine serious offences against two children.
The Spanish Civil Guard say Hayes was caught on Wednesday in the southern city of Granada – he had been working under a false identity as a private English teacher. But detectives say Hayes is also facing trial in Spain on three further child sex abuse charges after settling in Spain.
North Wales Police renewed their appeal to find Hayes in January 2017 – it was thought he had boarded a flight from Liverpool to Amsterdam after he failed to turn up for a court hearing. An arrest warrant was issued and all police forces across the UK were alerted, although according to a Europol profile, there had been no further sightings since he fled Britain.
In a statement, the Civil Guard said they were aware of Hayes’ charges in the UK and a similar case in which a British citizen had allegedly committed sexual abuse against minors while giving private English lessons at his family home in Granada. But it later became clear that the personal documents of the suspect in Spain may have been falsified, corresponding to another British citizen living in Valencia.
Detectives carried out an extensive search across the province of Granada, monitoring several different addresses, including hostels, and several advertisements on websites for services as a private English teacher. After several days of close surveillance, Hayes was finally caught and arrested on Wednesday.
A Civil Guard spokesperson said he is due to appear in court in Madrid. In North Wales, a police spokeswoman confirmed that Hayes would be extradited to face local jurisdiction.
Reacting to the capture, DC Tim Dobson, a specialist officer dealing with protecting vulnerable people, said: ”Hayes mistakenly believed he could avoid police and the courts by fleeing the country following charge. However, with the tenacious and determined efforts of those involved in the hunt for him, we have been able to ensure that he will now face trial in relation to the offences he has been charged with and hopefully he will be brought to justice.”
DS Katie Ellis said: ”This is long awaited news for the victims and their family, who have shown great courage to come forward, and further resilience and strength in awaiting the inevitable arrest of Hayes.”