Serial arsonist who absconded from hospital tracked down after police hunt

A serial arsonist who absconded from a mental health hospital has been located after four days on the run.

Northamptonshire Police had warned members of the public not to approach 19-year-old Johnny Brady, who went missing from Northampton’s St Andrew’s Healthcare facility on New Year’s Eve.

Brady was being held under a hospital order imposed in relation to a series of arson attacks on schools and churches in the Derby area between October and December 2020.

Ravensdale Infant School fire
Damage caused to one of the schools targeted by Brady (Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service/PA)

Northamptonshire Police said Brady was found “safe and well” at about 9.30am on Wednesday.

A statement issued by the force read: “The force’s control room received a call from a member of the public reporting that they had seen Brady in the Crestwood Road area of Northampton.

“Officers were immediately deployed to the area where Brady was found. He is now being taken back to his place of care.”

Detective Sergeant Torie Harrison, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for all their help over the past four days in sharing our media appeals and calling us with information.

“It has been invaluable and the reason why we have been able to find Brady safe and well.

“He will now be returned to St Andrew’s Hospital where his treatment needs can be met.”

Police had previously issued an urgent appeal to trace Brady and said on New Year’s Day that three separate overnight incidents of arson involving bags of rubbish may be linked to him.