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Victory for families who stop knife rapist moving into home next to creche

A convicted violent sex offender was set to be rehoused beside a creche -- but the controversial move was cancelled at the last minute.

The current whereabouts of Dublin rapist Brian Shevlin are unknown, and it's now feared he may have moved back to his native north inner city -- where he previously attacked a teenager at knifepoint.

According to sources, Shevlin was due to be accommodated in Ratoath after his release last weekend, yards from a creche and a school.

Local councillor Nick Killian told the Herald: "To think that anyone with such a history could be placed back in the community, so close to a creche and a school, without their knowledge is incredible."

Ratoath residents reacted with fury and panic when they heard that convicted rapist Brian Shevlin was to be housed within their community after his release from jail on Saturday.

Shevlin, who was originally from Summerhill, has served lengthy prison sentences for savage crimes.

He was handed down nine years in 1997 after raping a 16-year-old girl at knifepoint in a park at Mountjoy Square.

He also stabbed his victim in the stomach with a kitchen knife and hit her with his fists during the hour-long ordeal in 1996.

Just two years ago he was given two years for threatening two gardai with blood-soaked knives and threatening to kill.

Shevlin's location is unknown this evening, with the Department of Justice saying that they did not comment on individual cases. Under the law the rapist is required to notify gardai of his address.

Residents in Ratoath, Co Meath, were outraged when they heard Shevlin was going to be put into an apartment at Mill View -- yards from a local creche and a school.

Shock

"There was huge shock as the news spread through the grapevine," said local Fianna Fail councillor Nick Killian.

"Everybody made their views known to gardai. They received a lot of calls and different meetings were held over the weekend.

"That can't be done and the community not know about it," he stressed. Some sources say he had been living among locals in Ratoath for the weekend before being moved again last Monday.

Parents picking up their children from the creche just doors away from where Shevlin was believed to have been transferred told the Herald of their shock today.

"The messages started to come early in the weekend that this guy was being moved in. We were shocked to say the least," said one dad.

"The latest word is that he is gone, so it was a big sigh of relief, but where is he now, and do the people around him know of his past?" one young mother asked.

"It is unbelievably stupid for whoever thought of putting him here to think it was a good idea," she added. A residents' group spokeswoman said: "We were all very concerned that someone with convictions of this nature could be accommodated without any communication with us. Part of the reason people move to places like Ratoath is that it is seen as a safer environment for children".

Release

Local sources said that there was so much fear in the Mill View area with rumours that Shevlin was living in the estate that the creche workers did not let children out to play.

The Department of Justice said it did not comment on individual cases but pointed out that sex offenders had to notify gardai of their addresses on release from prison.

The requirement varies up to an indefinite period for sentences of more than two years.

hnews@herald.ie


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