Sunday 22 April 2018

Samurai sword killer freed after arrest for being drunk

Henry was on jail day pass. Photo: Collins Courts
Henry was on jail day pass. Photo: Collins Courts

Tom Tuite

Samurai sword killer Stephen Henry was on the loose in Dublin last night after he was released with a fine following his drunk and disorderly arrest.

Henry (41), from Belfast, who failed to return to Magilligan Prison in the North earlier this week, was arrested drunk in Dublin yesterday morning after being thrown out of a city centre hostel and getting mugged.

Barely able to keep his eyes open, he was brought before to Dublin District Court yesterday and let go after being fined €75 for a public order offence that does not carry a jail sentence.

Henry was jailed for life after admitting using a Samurai-style sword in the murder of father-of-two John Cooke (33), an acquaintance, in Lisburn in 2004.

He did not return to prison on Monday after he was granted a day-release pass to visit his family. So the PSNI appealed for information into the whereabouts of the 5ft 10in murderer, thinking he was in either Craigavon or Belfast.

However, he crossed the Border on Tuesday and was picked up yesterday by gardaí at Merrion Road, Dublin 4, in city's south side at 8.50am.

Henry was brought before Judge Conal Gibbons at a late sitting of Dublin District Court.

Garda David Carty told the court that Henry, of no fixed abode, had been brought to Irishtown garda station and made "no reply when charged".

He objected to bail, however, the judge pointed out that the charge did not carry a penal sanction, just a fine and the High Court would not be pleased if he refused.

There was no charge before the court for being unlawfully at large and he also said that being homeless was not a reason for refusal of bail.

Defence solicitor Tracy Horan said she agreed with the judge. She also said she thought it would be at least a week until an European Arrest Warrant would be issued.

Garda Carty said he observed Henry had no shoes on and was "completely unaware where he was" and so was arrested for his own safety. He added contact would be made with Interpol.

Irish Independent

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