NewsCrime Desk

Vile rapist sets up camp in woodland area close to Croke Park

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Sex-attacker Trevor Byrne camping out close to Croker
Sex-attacker Trevor Byrne camping out close to Croker

GARDAI ARE on high alert for the safety of female GAA fans after one of Ireland’s most notorious rapists set up camp close to Croke Park.

We snapped feared sex-attack­er Trevor Byrne sleeping outside a tent in a wooded area between Clonliffe College and the Drum­condra Road on Friday.

The Sunday World understands that gardai issued a bulletin last Saturday, warning officers of Byrne's presence in the area prior to the All-Ireland football double header at Croke Park.

This week, when we confronted the convicted rapist - who has attacked women on three separate occasions - he repeatedly claimed he was not Trevor Byrne.

"I'm Keith, my name is Keith," he insisted after following our team out of the bushes.

When it was put to Byrne that we could see a number of distinctive tattoos on his hands which clearly showed he was the feared sex attacker, he blasted back: "There are paedophiles all over the place…why don't you go look for them?"

We put it to Byrne that people in Drumcondra would be afraid for the safety of women in the area when they learned he had set up home near the college.

"Why would people be afraid of Trevor?" he countered.

"Because of his convictions, sure everyone has convictions.

"I've convictions."

Byrne then tried to lure our reporter back into the woods by claiming he would bring us to meet Trevor Byrne.

"I'm not Trevor, come on in here and I'll bring you over to him.

"You can talk to him if you come in here with me.

"I'm not bringing him out."

Our team has established that Byrne has been staying in the tent with a homeless woman for the past week.

Byrne, according to sources, is regarded by gardai as one of the most volatile convicted rapists currently on the loose in Dublin.

He has ten convictions, the longest being for 15 years for raping an 18-year-old woman in November 1993 when he was only 16.

Byrne struck his first victim on the head with a brick and told her he had to kill her.

Thirty six hours after his release in December 2005, he attacked a Filipino nurse leaving work in the early hours near the Mater Hospital, Dublin.

He was jailed for five years on a charge of assault and threatening to kill one of two men who came to her rescue.

When sentencing Byrne for that crime, Judge Donagh McDonagh said: "It would be easy with a complete recidivist to lock him up and throw away the key and my immediate reaction because of the previous conviction is to impose a very heavy sentence but I do not want to leave him without any hope."

Just 14 hours after being released from that sentence, in September 2009, Byrne attacked a young French woman in Phibsboro.

She gave evidence that he struck her on the head and forced his way into her home but her housemate was awoken and Byrne fled.

Byrne was given an eight-year sentence, with the final two years suspended. With parole, he served only five years of the sentence.

On his release in March of last year, Byrne was told he had to observe an 8pm to 8am curfew and not to consume alcohol or drugs.

Within two weeks of his release he was stopped on the street outside his curfew by gardai and found to be carrying a bag containing six cans of cider.

He was jailed for a six-month period after a court heard that as well as being caught with the cider, he had telephoned the Central Mental Hospital and told a nurse that he felt like he was out of control and that he "might hack somebody up".

Efforts to rehouse Byrne, who is now homeless, have failed as he had been repeatedly forced out by angry and fearful neighbours.

Last year Byrne asked in court to be put back into prison because he believes he cannot keep to the conditions.

The final two years of the eight-year sentence were suspended on strict conditions.

These included that he remain under supervision by the Probation Service and that he stays off alcohol.

But after his release in March 2014, Byrne ended up back in court several times accused of breaching his probation terms.

Byrne was again released in October last year but soon brought to court by the Probation Services for not staying in contact with the services.

A Probation Officer told how she had reached "crisis point" with Byrne as he kept disappearing without warning.

He travelled to Belfast on four occasions, switching off his phone and had to be located by the PSNI.

He was also found in Cork without informing the authorities where he planned to go.

On that occasion he ended up in street brawl after a number of people there confronted him on the street.