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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Sex offender is 'free in Dublin'
Paul Hunter Redpath
Paul Hunter Redpath has been found in the Irish Republic
A convicted paedophile who broke his probation by fleeing to the Republic remains free because police have no power to arrest him there.

No extradition request has yet been made for sex offender Paul Redpath by the PSNI.

The high risk sex offender breached his probation conditions in Northern Ireland and is living in the greater Dublin area.

The PSNI had issued an alert for Paul Hunter Redpath, 35.

He had failed to return to approved accommodation.

He had been convicted of sex offences against two young girls.

Irish police were told about him by a third party and met him by arrangement on Thursday. Redpath then signed the Republic's sex offenders register.

He can only be arrested if they receive a warrant seeking his extradition back to Northern Ireland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is not commenting on whether such a warrant is being prepared.

Meanwhile, the Republic's foreign minister, Dermot Ahern, said the two governments had concerns about such cases.

"We are extremely worried about the possibility that the border could be used by people to evade justice either way," he said.

"This is one of the reasons why myself and Peter Hain and our respective junior ministers have been discussing this for the last couple of months."

Colin Reid of the NSPCC said the situation highlights the need for co-operation on an all-Ireland basis.

Return demand

"One of the key things for us is to ensure that legislation and policy where possible on this issue works on both sides of the border," he said.

"One of the weaknesses we would identify at the moment is that in the Irish Republic we don't have quite the same management arrangements for sex offenders while in Northern Ireland we have very strict arrangements for both the assessment and management of sex offenders."

The DUP's Ian Paisley Jnr said: "I am very alarmed that a man who has engaged in such very serious crimes is at large in the Republic of Ireland.

"Irrespective of their regime it is known that he is wanted in Northern Ireland and he should be returned urgently," he said.

Redpath, who is originally from Stranraer in Scotland, contravened his probation conditions when he failed to return to his accommodation on 29 September.

In June, Redpath pleaded guilty in Downpatrick Crown Court to sex offences against two young girls in March 2005.

The former chef was given a three-year sentence and a three-year probation term for indecent assault and unlawful carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old girl.

He was released early as he had already spent more than a year on remand.

Police renew sex offender warning
30 Sep 06 |  Northern Ireland

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