Man convicted of raping American tourist arrested in Dublin
Edward Connors, 19, arrested in Ballyfermot
Convicted rapist Edward Connors, 19, has been arrested in Dublin after having been on the run from police in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
RTE News reports that Connors is accused of failing to notify the gardaí of his name, address and date-of-birth between July 14 and 21 as required under the Sex Offenders Act of 2001. Connors was arrested around 10pm on Wednesday night at Labre Park, Ballyfermot in Dublin.
Four years ago, when Connors was just 15 years old, he was convicted of twice raping American student and tourist Winnie Li in the Colin Glen Forest in West Belfast. Connors was sentenced to eight years in prison, but only served four and was released on probation.
Connors was due to appear in Belfast Magistrates Court earlier this month but failed to show up. He was ordered to appear after violating the terms of the Sexual Offenders Act of 2001, in particular, notifying Garda of his name and address. Since then, the PSNI have been looking for him.
RTE News goes on to report that Connors was granted Free Legal Aid for his court appearance in Dublin after being arrested, while the court heard that Connors has no income and is not working.
Although his defence counsel is looking to establish bail for Connors, it has been heard that gardai will object to bail. The PSNI will be reportedly looking to extradite Connors back to Northern Ireland.
Victim of Connors’ attack, Winnie Li, an American who studying in Cork and visiting Belfast at the time of the attack, was concerned to learn that Connors had been missing. BBC News reported last week that she had been working to get “past the attack” and get her “life back together.”
Li said, "Suddenly I was like this person who disrupted my life four years ago is in a bizarre way disrupting my life again even though I live on the other side of the world.”
"It is strange and disturbing that someone who was capable of doing that four years ago is now out and kind of essentially on-the-run. If I were living in Belfast I would feel unsafe in case he held me responsible for putting him behind bars.”
"I don't think he's a safe person to have on the streets.”
Li can rest a bit easier now knowing that Connors is again in police custody.
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