Fugitive killer found: Sheffield double murderer to be extradited

Suspicious: Ian Kentzer, 45, was living in Ireland.
Suspicious: Ian Kentzer, 45, was living in Ireland.
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A Sheffield KILLER who murdered his great aunt and grandmother more than 20 years ago but fled to Ireland after his release from jail in breach of his licence is set to be extradited back to the UK.

Ian Kentzer, aged 45, who had served a 15-year minimum life sentence for the killing, moved to the Irish Republic after legally changing his name to Ioan Thomas.

The convicted double murderer and sex offender, who used to run a video shop on Spital Hill, Burngreave, lived undetected in a rural village in County Wicklow for more than three years, even starting a successful damp-proofing business.

But his pretence was blown apart by police three weeks ago, who didn’t believe Thomas’s explanation for not having an Irish driving licence when he was pulled over for speeding.

Thomas murdered his grandmother Mary Goodrich, 92, and great aunt Jessie Thomas, 89, by starting a fierce blaze at their home in Ringinglow Road, Ecclesall in October 1990. The pensioners’ bodies were found in different parts of the house.

Initially, it looked as though they had left clothes too near a fire - but Thomas came under suspicion when the women’s financial affairs were investigated.

He had siphoned around £30,000 from their building society accounts and also forged their signatures on withdrawal forms.

Thomas, who killed the pair after they discovered the thefts, blamed stealing the savings on a cocaine habit and the failure of his video shop.

He also quickly admitted the murder, telling officers at the time: “I wanted to start a fire. The intention was that my Gran and Aunt Jess should die.”

Thomas was also convicted of a sexual offence against a child in the 1980s.

Dublin’s High Court heard that, in December 2005, Thomas was released on licence on two conditions - that he must not leave the UK and that he keep in touch with his probation supervising officer and the Child Protection Service.

He moved to south Wales with the authorities’ consent in 2008, when he also changed his name by deed poll with permission.

The court heard he obtained a passport under his new name and that relations with his supervisor deteriorated. He escaped to Ireland in June 2008.

Locals in the Irish village where he was living, called Roundwood, expressed their shock after Thomas’s true identity was revealed. One woman said he had tried to cover his South Yorkshire roots by affecting a Welsh accent, but it “didn’t sound right”.

Thomas started a business called Mould Busters, which employed three people, and also hoped to set up a wine bar. In prison, the cultured murderer won awards for his literature and also penned numerous poems while behind bars.

He went to All Saints School, and on leaving hoped for a career in the RAF - but he was forced to quit the Air Force after being caught trying to steal a Lotus Esprit from an Ecclesall Road car dealership.

The judge in Ireland, Mr Justice Sheehan, said Thomas had admitted breaching his licence and he would refuse him bail. Thomas then told the court he would consent to his extradition to England.