Friday, December 13, 2013

Northern Ireland/Ireland: Details Elusive in Case of Belfast Rapist Who Raped US Tourist Twice

According to the BBC, Belfast rapist Edward Connors, 20, raped a US tourist, 29, on two occasions in Colin Glen Forest in West Belfast five years ago when he was then 15 years of age.

It has emerged that Connors has been missing since he failed to turn up at a court hearing in Dublin in August 2012 was jailed for four months last week.

The defendant failed to appear in court in Dublin on August 29, 2012 when he was charged with failing to notify authorities he had entered Ireland.

Subsequently, Connors went on the run, but was arrested by Irish police on November 20, 2013. Afterwards he fled to Dublin but later gave himself up. 

COMMENT: In 2009, Connors was jailed for eight years; he had spent a year in custody on remand prior to his trial and was released from custody in 2012 after serving four years.

Connors was on the run from police in Northern Ireland after failing to attend a hearing at Belfast Magistrates' Court on July 16, 2012 to face a charge of breaching one of his probation conditions by failing to complete a work program to address his sexual rehabilitation.

Connors was charged at Dublin District Court on July 26, 2012 with failing to notify the authorities of his name, address and date of birth contrary to the Sex Offenders Act 2001.

He had been arrested at Labre Park, in west Dublin, where he had been staying and a week later he successfully applied for bail when he appeared at Cloverhill District Court.

At that hearing, on August 1, 2012, a Garda officer had objected to bail saying he believed that the youth "would be a flight risk and did "not normally reside in this country."

However, a judge presiding at Cloverhill District Court, granted bail with a number of conditions and ordered him to appear again at Cloverhill District Court on August 29, 2012. Yet, on appointed date Connors failed to appear in court hearing and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

Despite the testimony of a Garda officer recommending a denial of bail, it appears that both Northern Ireland and Ireland need a greater attention to detail where violent crimes are concerned.