Stockton serial killer arrested after two-month manhunt

Man suspected of being the Stockton serial killer is charged with three murders in the last 24 hours

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Police have charged a 24-year-old man with three murders, including the Stockton serial killer, after a two-month manhunt.

The man arrested on Monday – who is also accused of robbing and raping five women over a 40-year period – was taken into custody just after midnight on Monday after a three-day manhunt and search of a number of properties.

The suspect had been wanted for questioning after the murder of police officer Ronil Hira in the city of Ballykelly in February. He also has been wanted in relation to the murders of two women in Winson Green and a fifth woman, who was raped in the same month.

Three women have been found dead in separate locations in the last 24 hours, with a fourth found dying in hospital.

Detectives arrested the man on a murder charge following the arrest of another man on suspicion of murdering his estranged wife and her boyfriend.

The pair allegedly committed the couple’s murders after they had been separated for five years.

The murder investigation was called Operation Trident after the man allegedly shot his ex-partner in the head.

Detectives have described the suspect as being “belligerent and volatile” and “very dangerous”.

He is now in police custody in Londonderry and Londonderry police have set up a number of road blocks to stop him leaving the area.

The man is a 24-year-old from Londonderry, who was convicted of a string of offences – including a sexual assault – in December 2014.

He was sentenced to eight years in jail for a number of those offences, but only served four out of the entire eight-year term.

During the four weeks between his last appearance on December 11, 2014 and his arrest on February 4, 2015, he was bailed by his solicitor, Robert Whitely, on numerous occasions.

He was released on January 3, 2015, after an appeal was successful. However, police claim he was given more than enough time

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