Thursday 30 March 2017

Exclusive: Child rapist who fled the UK during his trial caught in Ireland

A pixelated picture of the man arrested in Gorey, Co Wexford
A pixelated picture of the man arrested in Gorey, Co Wexford
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

A child rapist who fled the UK during his trial last year has been arrested in Ireland.

Independent.ie can reveal that the man, who is in his mid 50s, had been hiding out in a home in Gorey, Co Wexford.

He was arrested in the town over the weekend on unrelated matters and it is now believed that police will attempt to have him extradited back to the UK where he is awaiting a 17-year-sentence.

Last year a police force in England issued an alert to say that the man had fled during his trial.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was jailed for 17-years in his absence after he was found guilty of raping one youngster and indecently assaulting another.

The young girls were sexually assaulted in the 70s and 80s.

The suspect had been living in Dublin when he was first arrested for the crimes in 2013.

He was brought back to the UK to stand trial but fled before his sentence.

During the trial the jury heard that the man, who was 15 or 16 at the time, indecently assaulted a girl in the mid-70s while he was babysitting at her home when she was about five. But the most serious offence, the rape, was committed against another girl when the man was 19 or 20 and she was aged between five and seven, and he was babysitting while her parents were out.

He was bailed during his trial and he absconded a short time later.

Independent.ie can reveal that gardaí in Gorey called to a home in the town over the weekend where the man was believed to be staying with a relative.

He was arrested for unrelated offences and gardaí subsequently discovered that he was the man sought by UK police.

A spokesperson for the police service said this morning that they were unaware of the arrest.

However she added that they are keen to extradite the individual.

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