A convicted rapist from Tyrone has been freed on continuing bail to find himself a new lawyer within a fortnight, after accusing his former solicitor of engaging in a vendetta of harassment against him.
Eamon 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 the North’s 50 per-cent remission sentencing policy at that time, he served only half of the term and released in January 2008. Police claimed that Foley has repeatedly failed to comply with the order.
Foley himself, maintains, and repeated he does not have to, and will not, comply with the order as the legislation requiring him to do so, only came into force long after he was sentenced.
Earlier his former solicitor, Colin O’Kane, asked Her Honour Judge McReynolds to allow him to ‘come off record’, initially, because of the current legal fees dispute, but more importantly because Foley had lost all faith in him ...”if he ever had any”.
Just prior to his continued two-week release on bail, Foley told the court he would “try and search for a solicitor in Dungannon now that I am up here”, but added later he wasn’t “signing anything .... I’m fighting it ....I wont’ be signing any paperwork or register for nobody”.
Prosecutor Michael McAleer, objecting to the continued bail, said that if Foley failed to secure fresh legal representation there would be an application to revoke his bail.
Judge McReynolds doubled Foley’s bail to £500 (pounds money), ordering him to reside at the address on the court papers.