A sex killer fighting to hide his identity — who was caught secretly meeting women while on temporary release from prison — may be allowed to work with women when he has served his sentence, a court has been told.
Ken Callaghan, who is due to be freed next month, is seeking a permanent injunction against Sunday Life — the sister newspaper of the Belfast Telegraph — that would ban publication of photographs of him.
Callaghan, who battered 21-year-old Carol Gouldie and then raped her as she lay dying, already has a temporary ban against publication of photographs of him which were taken earlier this year while he was out on release.
Sunday Life is fighting the injunction on the basis that the public should be allowed to see what the killer looks like in order to avoid him. However, it was stated in court yesterday that the newspaper would take steps to ensure his location is not revealed.
Chief psychologist for the Northern Ireland Prison Service Professor Jackie Gaston yesterday told Belfast High Court that she believes it would be detrimental to efforts to discourage Callaghan from re-offending if he is publicly identified. She also said there is a wide body of evidence and a number of articles referring to studies which reinforce this notion.
She said there is evidence to suggest that public identification of a sex offender could encourage them to move house, leave employment or change their identity — which could increase the likelihood of them re-offending.
However, during cross-examination by counsel acting on behalf of Independent News and Media Gerald Simpson QC, she admitted “there are other articles that take a contrary view” to this stance.
Professor Gaston also explained that Callaghan will be subject to extensive monitoring upon his release from prison but admitted that assessments will partly rely upon him being “honest and transparent” about activities and relationships, particularly those he builds with females.
Mr Simpson asked: “You are relying on his (Callaghan) honesty to come and say how his relationship is doing. He has to tell you about any problems so that you know they are occurring,” to which she responded: “It helps if he tells the truth.”
Earlier in the week, it transpired that Callaghan has been reprimanded twice in the past two years for keeping secret details of contacts he had with women while on pre-release from prison.
Prof Gaston explained that while no decision has been made about restrictions on the terms of future employment for Callaghan, it is possible that he will work alongside women. She was unable to say what future employers would be told about his crimes.
The case continues.