Belfast Telegraph

Violent fugitive held in Republic over alleged attack to be extradited

By Sean O'Driscoll

One of Northern Ireland's most wanted men is awaiting extradition from the Republic after he was arrested on domestic abuse charges.

Jonathan Turley (35), who is accused of kidnapping a woman, fled while out on one-day bail and allegedly beat a woman in Cork after fleeing south.

His escape caused a political furore at the time and the PSNI warned that he should not be approached. The woman in Cork did not know his violent history when they met.

Turley was arrested in the corridor of Dublin's High Court yesterday on a Northern Ireland extradition request. It relates to an event in 2014, when Turley allegedly kidnapped a Belfast woman, beat her and tried to flee the PSNI in a high-speed chase.

Turley, who had just served an 11-year sentence for stabbing a man, was charged with kidnapping the woman, three counts of assault and dangerous driving.

Turley, of Clandeboye Drive in east Belfast, was held on remand in Magilligan prison on the kidnapping charge but was released on bail for one day in May 2015 to visit someone in hospital. He immediately fled, alternating between Belfast, Newcastle and the Republic. The PSNI issued a plea to the public to be on the lookout for Turley but warned that he should not be approached.

His escape caused a political storm.

DUP peer Lord Morrow blasted the prosecution service for failing to stop him from being released on bail.

The prosecution service replied that it was not alerted to the circumstances of Turley's one-day bail request.

It has now emerged that Turley moved to Cork and laid low, meeting a new woman and starting a new life.

He allegedly severely beat that woman in an argument in recent weeks. Gardai arrested him and brought him to Cork prison and then Cloverhill prison in Dublin while awaiting a court date on that alleged domestic abuse case.

A computer check confirmed that Turley was wanted in Northern Ireland for kidnapping.

Yesterday, prison officers took Turley to the Dublin High Court. While in the corridor outside the court, Turley was shown a copy of the extradition request by a garda and a PSNI mugshot. Turley confirmed that it was him.

A Belfast Telegraph reporter overheard the conversation as it took place.

He was then taken into the High Court, where the garda asked that Turley remain in custody while gardai process both the Cork assault case and the Northern Ireland extradition request.

Turley, who is also known by the alias of Jonathan Lundy, was remanded in Cloverhill prison until an extradition hearing which is due to take place on May 30.

Belfast Telegraph


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