A man convicted of murdering a Hertfordshire police officer in 1988 and who subsequently escaped from prison has been re-captured following an operation by the Dutch police.
James Francis Hurley, now aged 45, was convicted of murder and robbery offences (along with two other men) following the death of off duty PC Francis Mason, who intervened to try to prevent a security van robbery at Bank Court, Hemel Hempstead on April 14, 1988.
In 1994, whilst being transferred between prisons, Hurley managed to escape from prison officers and had been on the run ever since.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police, Hertfordshire Constabulary and other enforcement agencies have continued in their efforts to trace Hurley.
On Friday 9th November Dutch police officers from Laak were investigating increased energy consumption at an address in Van Ruijsbroekstraat in The Hague. Initially expecting to find a cannabis factory, they were instead confronted with a large quantity of class ‘A’ drugs. Two English speaking males were arrested in the premises. Subsequent investigation identified one of the men as James Hurley.
Officers from the Met Police are liaising with the Dutch authorities.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Maghie from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Management Department commented: “The force still feels the loss of PC Francis Mason who selflessly gave his life intervening during this robbery.
We have been ruthlessly pursuing Hurley for many years and would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to the Dutch police.”
Francis Mason’s widow, Jill, added: “I am really pleased to hear the news that Hurley has been caught. It doesn’t bring Francis back, but Hurley needs to serve time for the crime he committed.”