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Longest on-the-run prisoner back in custody after 20 years at large

Ballymena Magistrates Court

Edward Hickey is back in custody after more than two decades unlawfully at large

Paul HigginsBelfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland’s longest on-the-run prisoner is back in custody after more than two decades unlawfully at large.

Appearing at Ballymena Magistrates Court by videolink from police custody, 38 year-old Edward Hickey was charged with being unlawfully at large on February 2001.

A police officer gave evidence she believed she could connect Hickey to the offence and confirmed that he had been unlawfully at large since failing to return to prison following Christmas leave.

In 2000 at Belfast Crown Court, Hickey was handed a five year jail sentence for having a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

As defence counsel Craig Patton began to apply for bail, he revealed that Hickey still had time left to serve on his original offence.

Mr Patton indicated he wanted to clarify whether or not Hickey fell under the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement where some paramilitary offences resulted in prisoners being freed after two years.

Hickey, originally from Bangor but now with an address on the Monasterboice Road in Dublin, was remanded into custody and District Judge Nigel Broderick adjourned the case to Tuesday.

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