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Irish paedo pair back on the streets after serving time for vile crimes

Both men have to register as sex offenders with gardai within ten days of their release

Ger Hehir is now out of prison

Anthony Spellman is now out of prison

Eamon DillonSunday World

Two child sex offenders are now back on the streets after serving their time for vile crimes.

While Galway man Anthony Spellman is expected to have returned to the UK where he had been living before his conviction, Co Clare rapist Ger Hehir is expected to return home.

Both men have to register as sex offenders with gardai within ten days of their release, but Government plans to give courts the power to order electronic tagging have not yet come into force.

Glowing testimonies had been handed in court on behalf of Hehir, who ran a horse stables, at his sentence hearing in January 2019 when he got a five and a half year sentence.

His sentence was upheld by the Court of Criminal Appeal in 2020 but now Hehir is free after four years behind bars after being released from the Midlands Prison this week.

Anthony Spellman is now out of prison

Hehir (61), with an address at Ruan, Co Clare, had pleaded not guilty to raping and sexually assaulting a girl at his home and at horse events around the country between 2010 and 2013.

The woman he attacked said in her victim impact statement at the Central Criminal Court, she had “lived a happy and enjoyable life” before Hehir’s abuse and manipulation.

“From a girl who had such an amazing life, you ruined everything,” she said.

“I have always looked for the best in people and I’m not a resentful person, but I feel you still don’t understand the devastating effect this has had on me.”

She said she lives with anger every day, has severe anxiety and trust issues and had to give up a career goal because of the abuse.

Hehir first sexually assaulted the girl in 2010 when she was aged 16 as she was coming out of one of his stables.

Later that same year, Hehir invited her to have a smoke out a bedroom window at his home, but then lifted her over the bed, took off one of her trouser legs and raped her.

The girl later told gardai how she “froze”.

When she told Hehir that she was only 17, he replied: “You may be only 17, but you’re years above your age”.

A jury found him guilty after a seven day trial.

Just before Christmas, another paedophile, Anthony Spellman, was also freed from the Midlands Prison.

He was sentenced to four years in January 2020 for sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in the 1980s.

Spellman was found guilty at Galway Circuit Court of 20 counts of indecent assault for sexually abusing the boy between June 1984 and January 1986.

But during his trial for those offences the jury was not told Spellman was, at the time, serving time for abusing a seven-year-old boy.

It emerged in court hearings Spellman had also received a Risk of Sexual Harm Order from South Cheshire Magistrates Court for sending explicit text messages to a 15-year-old boy which expired in 2014.

Then aged 53 Spellman had been living in Cheshire for years and was aged 18 or 19 when he abused the 11-year-old in Mervue, Galway. The abuse continued over two years.

Spellman pleaded guilty a week after a jury had been selected.

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