An escaped killer previously convicted of murdering one gay man and the manslaughter of another in separate attacks in the 80s and 90s has been arrested in connection with the death of a father-of-three in a Hertfordshire village.

Ian John McLoughlin, 55, is suspected of stabbing to death retired company director Graham Buck, 66, at the weekend, after the victim tried to prevent McLoughlin from attacking convicted paedophile Francis Cory-Wright, 87, who was Mr Buck’s neighbour.

Mr Cory-Wright, who survived the attack, was jailed for 30 months in 2011 for indecently assaulting a 10-year old boy in the 1970s.

Mr Buck, a father-of-three and grandfather, and Mr Cory-Wright are not believed to be connected in any other way than being neighbours.

Mr Buck went to the aid of Mr Cory-Wright on Saturday after hearing shouting in his front garden.

McLoughlin, also known as Ian John Baker, was arrested in London at around 1am on Wednesday and is being questioned on suspicion of murder and robbery, Hertfordshire Police said.

The suspect was on day release from Springhill Prison in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, having been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Brighton gay barman Peter Halls in 1992.

Mr Hall, 56, was fatally stabbed in the neck.

McLoughlin was 22 years into a 25-year sentence, according to police, and was serving his sentence at Springhill.

He was jailed for 10 years in October 1983 – eventually lowered to eight on appeal – in relation to the death of another gay man, 49-year-old Len Delgatty, from Stoke Newington in east London. He died after suffering head injuries inflicted by a hammer.

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