Violet Youens hit-and-run death: Suspect Aidan McAteer arrested 'at Manchester Airport'

Mark Piggott
Violet-Grace Youens

A 23-year-old man wanted for questioning over the death of a four-year-old girl in a hit-and-run accident on Merseyside on 24 March has been arrested.

Violet-Grace Youens died in her mother's arms in hospital a day after a stolen Ford Fiesta mounted the pavement, striking her before speeding off. Violet-Grace's grandmother Angela French, who was with her, remains seriously ill in hospital.

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Merseyside Police spokeswoman told Manchester Evening News: "A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving .... He remains in police custody." No other details on the arrest were immediately available.

On Facebook, Violet-Grace's mother, Rebecca Youens, wrote: "My beautiful baby girl passed away in my arms on 25/03/2017 at 23:38. However, my brave baby girl saved two lives by donating her kidneys and pancreas. I am truly heartbroken but proud of my little fighter."

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Merseyside Police issued an image of a "man in blue" pictured running from the scene and said they believed he had fled the country.

On Wednesday (29th March) 41-year-old Alicia McAteer made a tearful public statement in which she said she recognised her son, Aidan, as being involved and pleaded with him to turn himself in.

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She also gave a photograph of Aidan to Merseyside Police, who published it to aid their efforts to find him.

Aidan McAteer

Two other men were arrested in connection with Violet-Grace's death. Dean Brennan, 27 is charged with the theft of a motor vehicle, being in a stolen vehicle, and assisting an offender. A 23-year-old man from Prescot was arrested but released without charge.

Today (30 March), Violet-Grace's uncle, Kieran Byrne, posted a photograph on Facebook which he claims was of McAteer being arrested on the tarmac at Manchester Airport. It is unclear whether the suspect was entering or leaving the country.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Byrne wrote: "Thank you to everyone who has been sharing my recent posts. It has meant the world to my grieving brother and his wife. Greater Manchester Police arrested him at Manchester Airport and he is now in custody."

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