Man arrested in Gorey suspected of being UK paedophile
A MAN found living at a house in Gorey on Saturday is suspected of being an on-the-run child rapist from the UK.
This newspaper understands that the arrest came after suspicions arose locally that convicted paedophile Eric Fletcher was staying at a local house.
55-year-old Fletcher fled the UK last December during his trial for a series of horrific attacks.
He was sentenced in his absence at the crown court in Leamington to 17 years in prison for raping a minor, and indecently assaulting another.
An Eric Fletcher, of no fixed abode, was brought before Judge Gerard Haughton at a special sitting of Gorey District Court on Sunday on five separate charges.
Inspector Pat Coady outlined the charges to the court. Fletcher was charged with on June 4, 2016, of failing to notify the gardaí of his failure to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and his home address, as required under Section 10 of the Sex Offenders Act, 2001, contrary to Section 12(1) of the Sex Offenders Act 2011.
He was further charged on same date at Gorey Garda Station that he did have in his custody, a birth certificate in the name of one David Thompson, a false instrument, with a view to inducing gardaí to believe it was his name, contrary to the Criminal Justice Theft and Fraud Act, 2001.
He was charged also that on June 4, 2016, at Gorey Garda Station, he had in his custody a copy of a marriage certificate in the name of David Thompson and Margaret Davidson, a false instrument, to attempt to induce another person to accept it.
A further charge for June 4, 2016, at Gorey Garda Station, was that he had in his possession an instrument, a medical card in the name of David Thompson which was known to be a false instrument.
On the fifth count, he was charged with on June 4, 2016, at Gorey Garda Station, having in his possession a document from Jobs and Benefit Office, Belfast, in the name of David Thompson, which he knew to be a false instrument.
David Tarrant, solicitor, appeared for the defendant. Having been granted free legal aid, his application for bail was refused by Judge Haughton on the objection of Inspector Coady.
Judge Haughton remanded the defendant in custody to appear back before Gorey District Court on Thursday next, June 9.
The man sentenced in England had been living in Arran Quay in Dublin when he was arrested in 2013, and extradited to the UK for the trial from which he later absconded. It was suspected he may have fled back to Ireland when he absconded.
The native of Conventry sexually assaulted the young girls in Coventry in the 70s and 80s.
Det Insp Stuart Bell of Coventry Police was quoted in The Coventry Telegraph last December saying 'we continue to make inquiries with agencies to see if Fletcher has left a trail and we will continue to search for him. We are led to believe that he may have connections to Dublin.'
'However, we cannot be certain that he is in Ireland and I would appeal to anyone who sees him or knows of his whereabouts to contact their local police as soon as possible,' he added.
The newspaper reported that during the trial the jury heard that in the mid-1970s, Eric Fletcher, then 15 or 16, indecently assaulted a girl of around five years of age, while he was babysitting at her home in Coventry.
He was also charged with raping a girl aged between five and seven years of age, when he was 19 or 20, also while he was babysitting.
He was also charged with sexually assaulting the girl when she was around eight years of age at a flat in Coventry in the mid-1980s. In 1986, he was jailed for three years for indecent assault.