Pensioner rapist bailed to find new lawyer

Dungannon Court  TT0509-JS112
Dungannon Court TT0509-JS112

Rapist Eamon Foley was on Thursday freed on continuing bail to find himself a new lawyer within a fortnight after accusing his former solicitor of engaging in a vendetta of harrassment 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 Northern Ireland’s 50 per cent remission sentencing policy at that time, he served only half of the term and was released in January 2008.

Police claimed that Foley has repeatedly failed to comply with the order.

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

Earlier his former solicitor, Colin O’Kane, asked Judge McReynolds to allow him to “come off record” and no longer represent the accused because Foley claimed he had lost all faith in him.

The 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 listed a series of claims, including that there was a widespread conspiracy against him and that the papers used at his original trial had been “forgeries used to stitch me up”.

Judge McReynolds doubled Foley’s bail to £500, ordering him to reside at the address on the court papers.