Sex assault fugitive set to appear in court

Mian Mujahid Ali Shahid, the Pakistani national who was taken off a plane for Dubai at Dublin Airport on Monday night, has been remanded in custody until today to appear before an extradition court at the Criminal Courts of Justice.

Shahid was arrested by Garda Enda Ledwith on foot of a European arrest warrant issued by police in the UK where he is wanted to serve a 30-month jail term for sexual assault.

Garda Ledwith told Mr Justice Anthony Hunt he entered the aircraft on the apron at Dublin Airport and questioned Shahid as to his identity, which he had confirmed, and produced the warrant.

He said he had taken Shahid off the plane and cautioned and arrested him, taking him to Clontarf Garda Station for processing of the warrant. He had brought him to the High Court yesterday morning.

Shahid, aged 19, was convicted in his absence at Stafford Crown Court on April 13 of two counts of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman. A month later he was sentenced to 30 months also in his absence.

Judge Hunt was told the national media in Ireland had been used in the search for Shahid, who was believed to have moved from Scotland to Ireland earlier this year. He had been last seen in the Foynes area of Limerick in early August.

Barrister Anne Marie Lawlor, counsel for the chief state solicitor, asked Judge Hunt to remand Shahid in custody to appear at the Criminal Courts of Justice this morning at 10.30am.

Garda Ledwith told the court that Shahid had shown him a temporary Pakistani passport which he had held and handed into court. Shahid had been able to confer with him very well in English and had understood everything he was saying to him.

He told barrister Cormac Quinn, counsel for Shahid, there had been a difficulty with an initial European arrest warrant that had been issued for his client but that this had been renewed and sanctioned by the High Court.

Shahid will be able to consent to his surrender to the UK authorities or contest his extradition at a full hearing.

The Sex Offender Management and Intelligence Unit here is responsible for the monitoring of convicted sex offenders on a national basis in conjunction with gardaí. It works closely with European police with regard to transient sex offenders.

Last April, gardaí were involved in a manhunt for Ryan Humpage, aged 18, who had spent time in Sligo and Kildare that month after having travelled to Ireland from Lancashire. He was arrested by the PSNI in May in Belfast and last month jailed for 18 months for having sex on four occasions with a girl, 13.


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