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Notorious rapist Eamon Foley 'trying to play the system', court hears

Published 22/06/2015

Convicted rapist Eamon Foley
Convicted rapist Eamon Foley

A notorious rapist accused of failing to sign the sex offenders register could be trying to "play the system", the High Court heard today.

Prosecutors told a judge that Eamon Foley has called into question the legitimacy of police who dealt with him by claiming they were "masquerading" as PSNI officers.

The 55-year-old Co Tyrone man was returned to custody last week for allegedly driving a car in breach of a ban on getting behind the wheel.

But granting bail once more today, Lord Justice Gillen warned him he was on his final chance.

Foley, of Dreenan Road in Castlederg, was jailed for 16 years for raping a 91-year-old woman at her caravan on the outskirts village back in 1999.

His elderly victim died just weeks after the attack.

In 2008 Foley was released from prison under strict monitoring by police.

He was subjected to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), which included an obligation to register his details with the authorities.

Earlier this month he was to be formally arraigned before Dungannon Crown Court for failing to sign the sex offenders register.

Those proceedings were put on hold, however, after his previous lawyer came off record, citing a lack of faith from his client.

Foley had been on continuing bail, only to be brought back into custody after police stopped him in a car at the Ballygawley Roundabout last Monday.

He was allegedly driving the vehicle in contravention of the terms of his SOPO.

In court today Michael McAleer, prosecuting, claimed Foley has in the past questioned both the authority and identity of police dealing with him.

"He challenged them at court two weeks ago, (claiming) that they weren't police officers, that they were masquerading as police officers," the barrister said.

"He's being (either) very thran, or he's playing the system."

Despite prosecution concerns, Lord Justice Gillen decided Foley could be released on bail again.

He ordered the defendant to surrender his licence, abide by a curfew, electronic monitoring and report to police three times a week.

The judge said: "This was an outrageous piece of behaviour on this man's part - he knows fine well what the terms of the SOPO are.

"If he's found driving again he will stay in prison until he's dealt with by the court, but in the meantime I'm prepared to give him one final chance."

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