sentenced | 

Notorious rapist back behind bars after admitting stealing razor blades

Joe McCabe has been handed a month in jail

Joe McCabe

Paul Higgins

A rapist and thief who admitted stealing £72 worth of razor blades has been handed a month in jail.

But Joe McCabe won’t start that sentence immediately after the judge said his licence has to expire first.

That runs out in October and was revoked after the 39-year-old committed more offences, so the notorious sex offender should be out in time for Christmas.

McCabe, with an address at Edward Street Hostel in Portadown, admitted stealing the razors from a supermarket in February last year.

McCabe’s multiple previous convictions include the rape of a 64-year-old grandmother.

Last November, he was handed a four-month jail sentence after he admitted yet a breach of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order,

That breach was just another entry on McCabe’s mammoth criminal record which includes numerous dishonesty convictions but it’s his 2006 case which led to his notoriety.

On February 1, 2005, McCabe and another man broke into the home of a 64-year-old grandmother with McCabe subjecting her to what a judge described as a “violent sexual offence carried out with significant gratuitous violence”.

Imposing a 14-year sentence, Judge Kevin Finnegan KC said the victim had been subjected to a “terrifying prolonged ordeal” in her own home.

Freed in 2013 having served half his sentence, McCabe sparked a cross-border manhunt when he illegally fled Northern Ireland and was later found living in a Donegal caravan park.

Since then, McCabe has breached his licence and the sex offenders register more than half a dozen times.

Jailed alongside him at Craigavon Court was his friend Brian Ward who also owned up to nicking razor blades as well as five other offences — the total value of what he’d stolen was £1,172.

The 32-year-old, whose address was given as Maghaberry Prison, walked out of one store with a a TV “tucked under his arm”.

The court was told that Ward, who has 161 previous convictions, steals “high value, easily moved-on items”.

His lawyer conceded they were stolen to fund his addictions to alcohol and drugs, issues which “have yet to be tackled”.

It’s not the first time the two thieves have appeared in court together facing a raft of theft charges.

In August 2020 they were jailed after they went on a pre-Christmas shoplifting spree lifting decorations, gifts and almost £500 of turkeys — an episode that got them branded with the nickname the ‘Bad Santas’.

Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos