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Irish police catch on-the-run sex offender who fled UK

Mian Mujahid Ali Shahid was convicted of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman. Credit: Garda

A sex offender who went on the run before his trial in the UK has been captured by police in Ireland.

Mian Mujahid Ali Shahid, 19, was found guilty by a jury at Stafford Crown Court of attacking an 18-year-old woman in April.

He was later sentenced, in his absence, to 30 months in jail.

Police in the UK, who have an outstanding warrant for Shahid's arrest, believe he fled from Scotland, where he lived for a short time, to Ireland earlier this year.

They asked the Garda for help in tracking the Pakistani national down after he was spotted in Limerick last month.

Following a public appeal he was arrested at Dublin Airport last night as he tried to board a flight to Dubai.

Families' tributes to 'much loved' men killed in firework blaze

Stewart Staples

The family of Stewart Staples, one of two men believed to have died in a fire at a fireworks warehouse in Stafford, said they are "totally shocked and devastated" at the loss of the "devoted and much loved family man".

Simon Hillier

The family of Simon Hillier, the second man believed to have died in the blaze at the SP Plastics industrial unit, said they are "resigned to the fact that we will not see Simon again" and will "miss him dearly".

Police name two men killed in firework factory blaze

Detectives investigating a fatal fire at a firework factory in Stafford have released the names of those who are believed to have died in the blaze.

41-year-old Simon Hillier, of Mountside Street, Hednesford, and Stewart Staples, 57, of Bond Way, Hednesford.

Although formal identification isn't likely to be confirmed for some weeks, evidence gathered places both of the men at the scene when the explosion happened.

I is believed Simon was working at the premises while it's thought Stewart was a customer.

A man in his 40s remains critically ill in hospital, while a fourth casualty is recovering at home.

– Supt Ian Coxhead, of Staffordshire Police


Investigations continue into fireworks factory fire

Investigations are continuing into the cause of a fatal fire at a fireworks factory in Stafford.

The bodies of two men were found in the wreckage of the warehouse by emergency service today. A third man remains in a critical condition in hospital following the blaze on Thursday.

A 53-year-old man arrested in connection with the fire has been released with no further action and is now being treated as a witness.

ITV News' Midlands reporter Ben Chapman reports:

Man in critical condition after fireworks factory blaze

A man remains in a critical condition in hospital following a fireworks factory blaze which claimed the lives of two men.

The man suffered serious burns in the blaze at SP Fireworks in Stafford. A second man who was taken to hospital is now recovering at home, Staffordshire Police said.

It comes as the force confirmed the bodies of two men were discovered in the wreckage of the blaze today.

Supt Ian Coxhead, from Staffordshire Police, said: “This is a tragic development in a rare and challenging incident, our sympathies go out to the families of those who have sadly lost their lives."

Officers remain at the scene of the blaze, which will remain cordoned off while work to establish the cause of the fire continues, a force spokesman said.

Bodies of two men recovered from fireworks factory

The bodies of two men have been discovered at the scene of a blaze at a fireworks factory in Stafford, Staffordshire Police said.

A 53-year-old man arrested in connection with the fire at SP Fireworks on Tilcon Avenue in Stafford on Thursday has been released and is now being treated as a witness.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Two people were taken to hospital following the blaze. One victim is in a stable condition, but the other is more seriously hurt.

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