Renewed appeal to find John Howard absconder Peter Kerrigan who ‘traumatised’ the elderly

Peter Kerrigan

Peter Kerrigan - Credit: Archant

Police are still trying to trace the man once known as ‘Britain’s most prolific burglar’, who went on the run from the John Howard Centre 15 months ago.

Today police renewed their appeals in the hope of tracking down Peter Kerrigan, 28, who absconded from the secure mental health unit whilst on escorted leave in the Narrow Way on March 29 last year.

Kerrigan, who is from the Irish Travelling community, was serving a six-year sentence for a series of artifice burglaries in which he preyed on the elderly, vulnerable and disabled by impersonating a police officer.

Det Insp Paul Ridley, from Hackney CID, who is leading the investigation to find him, said: “The oldest victim Kerrigan targeted was a 92-year-old woman who was asleep in her bed - she was left terrified by the masked intruder.

“Another elderly woman who was 89-year’s-old at the time of the offence, described how Kerrigan ransacked her bedroom and stole personal effects as she was powerless to stop him.

“She was deeply traumatised for a long time afterwards.

“It is imperative that he is found before he ruins other people’s lives.”

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He continued: “Anyone who knows of Kerrigan’s whereabouts or maybe harbouring him, I would urge them to think about the damage Kerrigan has done to his defenceless victims and ask them to contact police.”

Scotland Yard has urged anyone who sees Kerrigan, or who knows of his whereabouts, to call 999 immediately.

In November, the charity Crimestoppers announced it would provide a reward of up to £1,000 for information leading to Kerrigan’s arrest.

To contact Crimestoppers anonymously call 0800 555 111 or see