AN MP is demanding answers after two pensioner rapists living at the same hostel were returned to prison accused of committing new crimes.
The DUP's Carla Lockhart said she was concerned at the decision by probation chiefs to house Ryan McGreechan (24) and a 36-year-old man the High Court has banned the media from identifying at Edward Street hostel in Portadown.
When he was just 15, a drunken McGreechan broke into the Newtownards home of a 76-year-old woman, who died eight months later, and raped her. The teenager was sentenced to eight years in prison for the sickening 2011 attack.
The second rapist was jailed for 14 years for the sexual assault of an elderly and extremely frail woman during a Belfast burglary.
Since being freed early from prison, he has repeatedly breached the terms of his release. The latest occurred when he allegedly went on a shoplifting spree while living at the hostel.
McGreechan is accused of breaking a Sexual Offences Prevention Order by getting drunk and resisting a police officer who arrested him.
Both men have been returned to jail, but Upper Bann MP Mrs Lockhart believes that will do little to reassure people who had no idea two rapists had been living among them.
She said: "There is a concern about the housing of any sex offender. However, proper supervision and monitoring is supposed to be in place.
"The fact that two serious offenders were returned to prison after breaching the terms of their release will be very concerning to people in the area."
The Simon Community-owned Edward Street hostel is notorious for housing dangerous sex offenders.
Originally a homeless shelter that opened in 1981, it began taking in paedophiles and rapists more than a decade ago.
In 2015 it expanded in size from nine bedrooms to 15, an increase costing £500,000 that was bitterly opposed by locals who feared it would mean more sex offenders staying at the complex.
Predators to have lived there include 'Beast of Ballymurphy' Thomas Murphy, who sexually abused three young schoolgirls in west Belfast after plying them with drink and drugs.
Ultra-violent Darius Prockias, who repeatedly raped a woman over a 12-hour period after beating her boyfriend unconscious, was another Edward Street resident, as was Barry Fisher, whose criminal record includes 20 rapes, 15 indecent assaults and eight counts of gross indecency.
This is a fact not lost on Mrs Lockhart, who called on the authorities to be more open about the risks posed by such offenders.
"These are extremely dangerous criminals and it is important answers are provided about exactly what measures are in place to protect local residents and the wider public," she said.
A spokeswoman for the Probation Board, which is responsible for housing rapists, sex offenders and child killers, said: "The Probation Board cannot comment on the details of any individual cases or cases where there are ongoing legal proceedings.
"We would point out that decisions about where people reside are taken on a multi-agency basis."
However, the explanation failed to impress sources who tipped off Sunday Life about McGreechan and the second pensioner rapist living at Edward Street.
"It's embarrassing that both were arrested while staying at the hostel under supposedly supervised care," said the insider. "This isn't uncommon, it happens all the time. It was madness to put these two in accommodation on a street that unsuspecting elderly women walk up and down all day."