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Co Tyrone rapist bailed to find new lawyer after accusing solicitor of vendetta against him

By Michael Donnelly

Published 04/06/2015

Convicted rapist Eamon Foley leaving Dungannon Courthouse today 4/6/2015
Picture by Justin Kernoghan
Convicted rapist Eamon Foley leaving Dungannon Courthouse today 4/6/2015 Picture by Justin Kernoghan

Notorious Co Tyrone rapist Eamon Foley was freed today on continuing bail to find himself a new lawyer within a fortnight, after accusing his former solicitor of engaging in a vendetta of harassment against him.

Foley (55) of Drennan Road, Castlederg was to be formally arraigned before Dungannon Crown Court for failing to annually re-inform the authorities of his details as required under the terms of the Sex Offenders' Register.

The order was imposed when Foley was jailed for 16 years, for the rape in 1999 of 91-year-old Mary-Anne McLaughlin at her mobile home on the outskirts of the Tyrone village. She died several weeks later.

However, because of the North's 50 per-cent remission sentencing policy at that time, he served only half of the term and released in January 2008. Police claimed that Foley has repeatedly failed to comply with the order.

Foley himself, maintains, and repeated today (Thursday) he does not have to, and will not, comply with the order as the legislation requiring him to do so, only came into force long after he was sentenced.

Earlier his former solicitor, Colin O’Kane, asked Her Honour Judge McReynolds to allow him to ‘come off record’, initially, because of the current legal fees dispute, but more importantly because Foley had lost all faith in him ..."if he ever had any".

The Meyler McGuigan Solicitor added that Foley had accused him of being involved in "a vendetta .... a conspiracy against him with the police, the prosecution and the media.”

Foley for his part, went on to list a series of claims, alleging that – among other things – the police officers who had been “torturing .... harassing" him at his home were not actually police officers. There was, he also claimed a widespread conspiracy against him and that the papers used at his original trial had been “forgeries used to stitch me up”.

The rapist also questioned the court paperwork, saying he wouldn't accept them, only to be told by Judge McReynold they were not a summons, but his Bill of Indictment, "which is somewhat different".

Just prior to his continued two-week release on bail, Foley told the court he would "try and search for a solicitor in Dungannon now that I am up here", but added later he wasn't "signing anything .... I'm fighting it ....I wont' be signing any paperwork or register for nobody".

Prosecutor Michael McAleer, objecting to the continued bail, said that if Foley failed to secure fresh legal representation there would be an application to revoke his bail.

Judge McReynolds doubled Foley's bail to £500 (pounds money), ordering him to reside at the address on the court papers.

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