A bench warrant for the arrest of a convicted rapist who went missing while out of jail on licence was sought at Dungloe District Court today(Tues) – although he is already back in the custody of the PSNI.
Supt Michael Finan said Joseph McCabe, who had an address at a caravan park in nearby Burtonport, was in the custody of the police in Northern Ireland but he was still applying for a bench warrant for his arrest for an offence in the Republic.
McCabe was accused of failing to provide his name and other details to gardai in the Republic between April 12 and 19 under the Sex Offenders Act.
Defence solicitor Donough Cleary asked that the offence be struck out. He said 29-year-old McCabe was in custody in Northern Ireland and it seemed he would remain in custody for a considerable time because he had been released on licence after serving seven years of a 14-year term.
It seemed pointless issuing a warrant because McCabe couldn’t be in court.
But Supt Finan repeated his warrant application. He said he wasn’t aware of what was planned for McCabe in Northern Ireland.
Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the matter until July 9 to give gardai an opportunity to establish with the authorities in the North what was planned for McCabe.
The PSNI has confirmed that registered sex offender McCabe handed himself into one of their police stations after a month on the run.
McCabe, from west Belfast, was freed after serving half of a 14-year prison sentence when he went missing on April 2.
At the time, the PSNI was criticised for taking more than 60 hours to issue a public warning along with a photograph of McCabe.
He was jailed for 14 years in 2006 for raping and burgling a 64-year-old woman in her north Belfast home as she lay in bed.