Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Cops won't stop me, boasts rapist Foley

One of Northern Ireland's most dangerous sex offenders has issued a chilling warning to police monitoring his behaviour: "Nobody will tell me what woman I can go with."

Eamon Foley tried to conceal his appearance by pulling a coat around his face when he arrived at court yesterday where he lost his appeal against his conviction for breaching a court order designed to stop him from re-offending.

But he dropped his guard just long enough to show that he is now sporting a moustache. Previously, he had grown a beard.

Foley, (48), from Castlederg in Co Tyrone, was jailed for 16 years in 1999 for raping Mary Anne McLaughlin in her mobile home on the outskirts of Castlederg.

Four weeks after she was raped, Miss McLaughlin died.

Before going into court, Foley twice contacted the NW Telegraph, claiming he had evidence that he was innocent.

Challenged to show this evidence, he agreed to two meetings, but pulled out of the first and didn't turn up for the second.

During the telephone conversations, Foley attacked police, claiming they were warning off women that he spoke to and said they also appeared if he spoke to children. He said he wanted to challenge this in court.

He also sent a chilling message: "They tell people when I want to go with a woman.

"Nobody will tell me who I can go with."

Foley was released from prison last October having served half of his sentence but he was immediately re-arrested at the gates of Magilligan Prison in Co Derry for breaching the terms of an interim Sexual Offences Prevention Order by failing to give an agreed pre-release address to the authorities.

The convicted rapist, who is one of only six sex offenders in Northern Ireland registered as a highest category three offender, was jailed for four months at the Magistrates Court in Derry last January for breaching the terms of the Order.

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 ".

He was released having already served time in custody for the offence.

Yesterday his appeal against that conviction was turned down and Judge Philip Babington affirmed the sentence.

However while giving his evidence from the witness box, Foley accused the police and Probation Service in Northern Ireland of blackmailing him.

"I was held hostage in Northern Ireland, blackmailed, unless I stayed in a Probation Hostel which I would not do. I wanted to live in Donegal where I'd been living before my arrest but they refused to let me.

"They wanted me to go to a Probation Hostel but I would not go because their conditions were I could not go out, could not go with a woman, could not go to work.

"Sure I may as well have stayed in prison," he said.

However Judge Babington said he was "quite satisfied" that Foley had been correctly convicted of the breach at the Magistrates' Court last January.

"Furthermore I do not take kindly to people making allegations and abusing the privilege of the witness box," he said.

Judge Babington said he affirmed the four month sentence and released Foley because he already had time served for the offence.

Following his release from prison Foley lived with his sister in the Co. Tyrone village of Gortin but he left following a series of public protests against his presence. He then moved to a house at Seegronnan Road near Castlederg, but that house was seriously damaged in an arson attack last month.

It emerged recently that the police operation to monitor Foley was costing the tax payers almost £4,000 per day. The figures revealed £103,000 was spent during 26 days in February alone to monitor Foley.

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