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Fugitive sex offender jailed for four months

A captured fugitive sex offender was sentenced to four months imprisonment in the Republic yesterday, after his solicitor revealed he had been visiting relatives in Northern Ireland.

William Paden (56), of no fixed abode, was charged with failing to notify gardai of his name and address contrary to Section 2 (12) (1) of the Sex Offenders Act 2010.

He still faces the prospect of being extradited to the UK.

Paden said nothing during the court hearing.

Cavan District Court was told that Paden has been in custody since June 30 and was in Castlerea Prison.

Inspector Seamus Boyle outlined to Judge David Anderson that the accused was arrested by Garda Gerard Paul McGee after he received reports of a man acting suspiciously in Ballyhaise, Co Cavan.

Inspector Boyle said that the accused was “wanted by a foreign jurisdiction”.

The court heard that Paden had arrived in Ireland on June 8.

He had failed to sign on with gardai as he is obliged to under the Act.

Mr Fortune said that his client was a 56-year-old divorced man who had been living in Blackpool in the UK. However he had to move when his identity became known.

“He decided to visit his relatives in Northern Ireland — his mother and an uncle — and unfortunately then travelled down to the Republic,” Mr Fortune said.

The court heard that Paden was “under licence” in the UK until July 14.

Judge Anderson was told that the UK authorities wanted to serve papers on Paden to extradite him back to the UK.

Mr Fortune told the court that his client was “locked up 23 hours a day and was fully co-operative with the gardai”.

Inspector Boyle indicated that the extradition warrant could be served next week.

However, the warrant was not available in court yesterday. Judge Anderson put the case back for second calling to consider matters. When the case resumed, Judge Anderson said that in relation to imposing a custodial sentence, he did not wish to “place a burden on the beleaguered Irish people” by imprisoning Paden.

Inspector Boyle then suggested putting the matter back a week.

However, Mr Fortune said this was “not fair on the defendant”.

Referring to the UK extradition proceedings, Mr Fortune said: “In fairness to (Paden), what they decide to do is their own thing.”

Judge Anderson said: “This type of offence causes great distress to the community”.

He then imposed a four- month prison sentence on Paden for the offence and backdated it to June 30.

Belfast Telegraph