A notorious sex offender is behind bars in England after he was finally tracked down in Ireland after a decade on the run.

Thomas Patrick O’Brien failed to turn up at a Court of Appeal in the British city of Birmingham 10 years ago.

He had been convicted of the attempted rape, indecent assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm of a man in his 20s in 1998.

After his failure to appear at the Court of Appeal in 2001, police issued a warrant dictating he should be returned to prison on his arrest.

Officers from the Child Online Safeguarding team in the West Midlands region have worked tirelessly to track O’Brien down ever since.

Irish police traced O’Brien to an address near Dublin where they arrested him on Thursday.

He was immediately flown back to Birmingham to begin his sentence.

Detective Constable Del Powys, from Britain’s Child Online Safeguarding Team, who has been working to track O’Brien down, said: “It is the result of years of investigation, but I was always confident that we would eventually find him.

“The message is that we won’t give up on offenders on the run - we keep working to make sure we find criminals who think they can escape and bring them to justice.

“Our main aim is to ensure that justice is done for the victims of crime, as well as taking dangerous offenders off the streets, and with this investigation we have made sure that both are done.”