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Gangster who walked out of open prison here is arrested in UK after five months


John Paul Duncan

John Paul Duncan

John Paul Duncan

A 30-year-old Tallaght gangster who escaped from an open prison over five months ago is now in jail in England after he was arrested by police in the London area.

John Paul Duncan (30) is understood to have fled to England shortly after walking out

of Loughan House in Co Cavan at around 3pm on February 5 and was driven away in a Northern-registered car. It has now emerged that he was arrested by police in the UK for an alleged burglary offence.

On arrest, the English officers discovered that Duncan (inset) had given them a false name.

“The police made further inquiries – including contacting gardai – and it was established that the arrested man was in fact John Paul Duncan,” a senior source said.

“He is currently on remand in an English prison but is expected to be extradited back here in the coming months to serve out the rest of his sentence. What is for sure is that he won’t be sent to an open prison again.”

The drug dealer, who was sentenced to eight years in May, 2010, had two more years left on his sentence before he fled from the low-security facility just two days after being transferred there from Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon.

Before Duncan was locked up, some of his closest associates were suspected of a reign of gang terror in the Tallaght area, which included the unsolved murder of Paul Byrne, whose body was discovered in July, 2010 near Blessington.

The first arrest in Mr Byrne’s case was made by investigating gardai last month and a young man was later released without charge.

Duncan was himself involved in a number of serious feud-related incidents – including

a gang attack in which a

man was pulled from his car and brutally beaten.

At Duncan’s sentencing hearing in Dublin Circuit Court in 2010, evidence was given

that he had his ankles and

knees sledge-hammered by people unhappy over the

loss of the drugs seized by gardai at the Swiftwood Apartments, Saggart on November 26, 2007.

The court heard that gardai uncovered cannabis resin, cannabis herb and ecstasy tablets with a combined valued of €2,803,294 after searching

two vans at the apartment complex.

Duncan previously staged an escape from Tallaght courthouse as he was being led into a garda van in February 2010.

He had been handcuffed

to another prisoner when the pair fled and they were quickly caught.