NewsCrime Desk

‘It’s only a matter of time before rapist strikes again’, says councillor

Crime DeskBy Lynne Kelleher
Vile rapist John English
Vile rapist John English

Rapist sex beast John English will strike again following his release from prison, says Cork Councillor Ted Tynan.

38-year-old John English was released from prison last Wednesday and is now thought to have returned to the Blackpool area of Cork or to Dublin.

Councillor Tynan said the release of the much-feared criminal is a major concern to people in the Cork inner-city area.

“He is roaming free now and could commit some further serious crime. There is huge responsibility on the authorities to keep track of this guy,” said the Worker’s Party Councillor.

“Gardai have expressed huge concern to me about this individual and they wouldn’t like to see him lurking in their neighbourhood.

“It’s a serious issue. I don’t think it’s the case that having done his time he is OK now.”

He said women in the north Cork area were terrified of English when he was in the area over a year ago.

“One woman phoned me saying he was walking though Mayfield on a regular basis to sign on at Mayfield Garda Station. He was passing school children and young women. It’s women of any age really who aren’t safe from this guy.

“It’s not a question of vigilantism or beating the guy up, but people need to be aware. It is only a matter of time before he strikes again.”

English was sent back to jail earlier this year for not complying with the conditions of release from prison on an 18-year sentence for the violent rape of an Australian woman he met in a pub in Cork City in 2002.

At his sentencing at the age of 26, the court was told the former barber had 27 previous convictions, four of them relating to attacks on women..

John English’s trial heard that 11 days after the brutal rape of the Australian tourist in the grounds of University College Cork, English falsely imprisoned and assaulted two women in separate incidents in Cork. The court heard he was first convicted of assaulting a woman when he was aged 15.

An alert was issued to Garda stations in Cork this week warning that the violent sex offender was a danger to women. The convicted rapist was previously described by Mr Justice Barry White as “a danger and a menace to society” and “a serious threat to the women of Cork”.

During his sentencing for the horror rape of the Australian tourist, Judge White suspended five years of the 18-year sentence, but this was on the condition that English comply with all recommendations made by the Probation Services – which included staying away from booze.

After he was freed in September 2012, having served the “equivalent” of 13 years, he was spotted drinking, which landed him briefly back in prison.

He ended up back behind bars earlier this year for breaching conditions of his release, but was freed last Wednesday.

His release comes as it was revealed this week that there are 18 known sex offenders in the vicinity of a cluster of local primary and secondary schools in north inner city Cork.

Councillor Tynan said the Gardaí should be able to alert local people about sex offenders in their neighbourhoods.

He said: “These people are predators and they should be monitored by the Gardaí. The Gardaí should publish a number for people to ring if they have concerns.”

At present, parents and schools have no right to know if sex offenders are living in their area.

TD Denis Naughten, who has drawn up his own private members’ bill to tighten up legislation, said there is a loophole in the law around the sex offenders register.

“Once a sex offender registers their official address with any Garda station, they can roam around the country for six days, once they turn up at that official address on the seventh day.

“In reality, the failure to close off dangerous loopholes leaves our system open for abuse and means that anyone who wants to avoid Garda attention can do so.”

His bill, which the Government supported but stalled on adopting two years ago, would also allow for electronic tagging for high-risk offenders.