Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

£4,000 a day to monitor rapist

Almost £4,000 of taxpayers' money is being spent every day on monitoring rapist Eamon Foley, it can be revealed today.

Details obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that more than £103,000 was spent during the month of February to monitor Foley - one of only six Category 3 sex offenders living in Northern Ireland.

Omagh councillor Patrick McGowan today appealed for the police to better allocate their resources over this "shameful" spending of money.

A Category 3 offender is defined as "someone whose sexual offending has been assessed as currently likely to lead them to seriously harm other people ".

Foley set up home at Gortin, Co Tyrone, in late January after being released from prison after serving half of his 16-year sentence for raping pensioner Mary-Anne McLaughlin in 1999.

The 91-year-old woman died weeks after she was attacked at her isolated mobile home.

After angry protests by locals, he moved to Killeter, just miles from Castlederg where he carried out his heinous crime.

However, his present address is unknown to the public since he was forced to move from the isolated bungalow after it was extensively damaged in an arson attack two weeks ago.

MASRAM, the group responsible for overseeing the management of sex offenders within the community has given an assurance Foley is still being closely monitored.

He will remain at a temporary agreed address until a permanent solution can be found.

Responding to the Freedom of Information request, the PSNI said: "The cost to the Police Service of Northern Ireland in relation to Mr Foley between February 1 to February 27, 2008 is calculated at around £103,000. "

This works out at £3,678 a day.

Mr McGowan said: "I think that spending this kind of money is shameful. The sad thing is that while that man is here his safety has to be a priority. The sort of money that is being spent, and sadly it has to be spent, you have to ask what can be done with him? Monitoring this man is swallowing up police duties and is that where the budget is going?

"I'm sure he is not alone and you wonder what type of money is being spent across the province on monitoring these people. I think it calls for joined up thinking, a more cohesive approach."

MASRAM spokesman Nick Carson said it "could be argued" that the arson attack on the house at Killeter was justification for not informing the public of Foley's whereabouts.

He said a risk management plan was reviewed at least every month.

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