Friday 19 January 2018

Fugitive rapist jailed for four months

Tom Tuite

A RAPIST, who fled from the North and failed to inform gardai that he had entered the State before going on the run again, has been given a four-month sentence by a court in Dublin.

Edward Connors (20), who twice raped an American tourist in Belfast five years ago, was charged at Dublin District Court on July 26, 2012 with failing to notify the authorities of his name, address and date of birth contrary to the Sex Offenders Act 2001.

He had been arrested at Labre Park, in west Dublin, where he had been staying and a week later he successfully applied for bail when he appeared at Cloverhill District Court.

At that hearing, on August 1, 2012, Garda Dave Connolly had objected to bail saying he believed that the youth “would be a flight risk” and did “not normally reside in this country”.

The garda had told the court that “on seeing gardai he tried to make good his escape”, he had no identification documents and a bench warrant had already been issued for his arrest by a court in Northern Ireland.

However, Judge John Lindsay, then presiding at Cloverhill District Court, granted bail with a number of conditions. Connors was ordered to: reside at a house in Labre Park, obey a curfew there from 10PM to 7AM, sign on twice daily at Ballyfermot Garda station in Dublin and provide confirmation that he had made contact with the PSNI station at Grosvenor Road, in Belfast within 14 days.

Connors had indicated that he understood these terms and he was then released and ordered to appear again at Cloverhill District Court on August 29, 2012.

However, on that date Connors did not show up to his court hearing and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

It was confirmed earlier today that the 20-year-old was arrested again last month and faced a hearing at Cloverhill Court on November 20 last and the following day, after which he was remanded in custody. His case was finalised on December 5 last when a four-month sentence was imposed by Judge Grainne Malone.

Last year, the same court had heard that he had served a sentence in the North for offences committed when he was aged 15, and a warrant was issued by the courts there was a result of him breaching terms of probation.

The youth has been on the run from police in the North after failing to attend a hearing at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on July 16 last year to face a charge of breaching one of his probation conditions by failing to complete a programme of work to address his sexual offending.

He was aged 15 when he twice raped a 29-year-old woman – an American tourist – in Colin Glen forest in west Belfast five years ago. Afterwards he fled to Dublin but later gave himself up. In 2009, he was jailed for eight years; he had spent a year in custody on remand prior to his trial and was released from custody in 2012 after serving four years.

Under Irish law he had seven days to notify gardai that he had entered the jurisdiction and to give a permanent address.

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