Felixstowe/Missouri: “Fast” Eddie appears before US court

FELIXSTOWE/MISSOURI: “Fast Eddie” Maher, the former Securicor guard wanted in connection with the theft of �1m from Felixstowe in 1993, appeared before a US court today.

The 56-year-old made his second appearance in Springfield before the US District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

The preliminary and detention hearing related to a charge of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm.

Maher was led in to court wearing a dark green coloured Greene County Jail jumpsuit, ankle shackles and handcuffs. As the US Marshal removed Maher’s handcuffs, his attorney asked how he was doing.

Maher replied “good, good” and flashed a smile.

The hearing lasted a total of three minutes -- just long enough for Judge James C England to recognise the affidavit in the federal complaint and the immigration detainer which is keeping Maher behind bars without bond. Judge England asked if either the prosecution or defence wished to add anything to the affidavit. Neither did.

The judge concluded the hearing by saying: “the defendant will be held for grand jury or other proceedings.”

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Maher is being represented by a court appointed public defender, as he is unable to afford his own attorney.

When the former London firefighter was detained by the US authorities at his home in Ozark, Missouri, on February 8, weapons said to belong to him were found.

A Hi-Point .45-calibre pistol, a Jennings .380 pistol, a Mauser 7.62x39 rifle, and a Mossberg .22-calibre rifle were discovered at a storage facility and at the rented premises he shared with his wife Deborah Brett and their younger son Mark, 14.

During his time in the US Maher lived in at least eight states including New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Missouri. It is also suggested the family may have lived in South Carolina.

Maher was working as a broadband technician for Suddenlink Cable in Ozark at the time of his arrest. He had lived under the name of Stephen King during his earlier years in the country. He then used his elder brother’s name Michael Richard Maher.

Ms Brett, 46, was also known as Sarah King and Barbara King.

Their 23-year-old son Lee also lives in Missouri.

Maher was living in South Woodham Ferrers, near Chelmsford - with Ms Brett and Lee, who was three - when a Securicor van he was in disappeared from outside Lloyds Bank in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe on January 22, 1993. Inside was �1million.

Although no formal extradition proceedings have begun, Suffolk police have said they are liaising with the authorities here and in the US.