A convicted rapist who fled from the North has been released on conditional bail by a court in Dublin and warned that he must make contact with the PSNI within 14 days.
Edward Connors, 19, with an address at Labre Park, Ballyfermot, Dublin, was charged on July 26 with failing to notify gardaí of his name, address and date of birth contrary to the Sex Offenders Act 2001.
He had been arrested at Labre Park, where he had been staying with an aunt on Jul 25 . He consented to being remanded in custody last week but successfully applied for bail when he appeared at Cloverhill District Court yesterday.
Gda Dave Connolly told Judge John Lindsay he objected to bail being granted. “I believe he would be a flight risk,” the garda said.
He told the court that “last week on seeing gardaí [Connors] tried to make good his escape” but was arrested after a 600-metre foot chase. Gda Connolly also said a bench warrant had been issued for his arrest by a court in the North.
The garda also told Judge Lindsay that the prosecution service in the North intends to get a European Arrest Warrant issued for Connors.
Defence solicitor Kelly Breen said Connors’s aunt was prepared to offer him somewhere to live in Dublin. The solicitor said the teenager had fled from gardaí because he had become apprehensive at what might occur if he were arrested. She said he had served a sentence in the North for offences committed when he was aged 15, and a warrant issued by the courts there was a result of him breaching the terms of his probation.
Ms Breen said Connors had little experience of the consequences of what would occur if he failed to comply with the conditions of probation and “it was extremely foolish with very serious repercussions”.
Judge Lindsay granted bail with a number of conditions. The judge said Connors would not be able to leave Dublin “other than to attend appointments with members of the PSNI”.
Connors was ordered to appear again in four weeks.
The youth has been on the run from police in the North after failing to attend a hearing on Jul 16 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 American tourist in Colin Glen forest in west Belfast four 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 earlier this year.