Sunday 18 August 2019

Pictured: Serial rapist roams free in Dublin after release from prison last year

David Hegarty leaving St Bricins Hospital Homeless Shelter , Mountpellier Gardens Dublin.
David Hegarty leaving St Bricins Hospital Homeless Shelter , Mountpellier Gardens Dublin.

Nicola Tallant

He looks like any regular pedestrian making his way to work on a bright summer morning – but behind the ordinary façade lies one of Ireland’s most dangerous serial rapists.

David Hegarty, 42, had disappeared into the population since he was released from prison last year after serving a 13 year old sentence for the brutal rape of a nurse in 2008.

He was deemed so dangerous to women that a judge had said he wanted to give him a life sentence but was restricted due to a decision by the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Instead he was freed after serving just 10 years and had gone to ground until this week.

Our photographs show the fiend who is now living in homeless accommodation in Dublin city centre as he enjoys his freedom and mingles with the unsuspecting public.

We can reveal how Hegarty has been living at a hostel at St Bricin’s Military Hospital in central Dublin for the past 14 months.

He walks out every morning and spends his days loitering around parks before returning in the evenings to sleep.

Our photographs show him as he walks first down residential Montpelier Gardens in Stoneybatter and out onto busy Infimary Road where he stops at a supermarket to buy a roll and some juice.

He later makes his way to the Phoenix Park to enjoy the sunshine. Hegarty hardly gets a second glance from pedestrians he passes as he makes his way around Dublin.

But behind his ordinary appearance lies a dangerous predator who a judge said has a ‘propensity to rape.’

Hegarty is one of countless sex offenders who living in homeless accommodation after being released back to the public.

The father of one has already been told he is not wanted in his native Cork where he raped a young Filipino nurse in the early hours of the morning in May 2008 near a bus stop.

She was waiting for the bus to work at 5.30am when Hegarty grabbed her around the neck from behind and dragged her away before raping her.

She tried to get the attention of a member of the public and eventually a Garda came to her aid.

Then, he was just two years out of prison after serving a 10 year jail term for raping two female students in Cork city centre on October 5th and October 27th.

The victim told a court: “I will never forgive him for what he did and I will never forget it.”

Between the rape of the students and the nurse, Hegarty worked as a commis chef in Kerry but was convicted of public order offences.

The late justice Paul Carney said Hegarty "deserved a life sentence" when he handed him the 13 year jail term in 2009. He also ordered the convicted rapist to be supervised for 10 years after his release.

The judge said: “The women of Ireland have a constitutional right not to be raped.”

Hegarty had made an inquiry with the probation service about accommodation in Cork or Kerry following his release but no suitable housing was found.

Independent.ie understands that Hegarty has been living in homeless services in Dublin since his release but is still hoping for a transfer to the south.

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