Northern Ireland

Convicted rapist avoids new prison term for probation breach

A convicted rapist walked free from court on Tuesday after being given a suspended sentence for breaching the terms of his probation.

Michael Quinn, 22 and formerly of Glasvey Drive, Belfast, admitted breaking the rules of his hostel accommodation by drinking alcohol.

Quinn was jailed for twice raping a then 15-year-old schoolgirl in August 2005.

After the prolonged attack he phoned the girl's mother to taunt her.

He was jailed for eight years for the rape and sexual abuse of the girl who was in Northern Ireland on holiday.

Quinn, who was armed with a screwdriver, dragged the schoolgirl to a filling station forecourt on Black's Road, Belfast and made her perform a sex act before raping her.

During the two-hour ordeal Quinn continually threatened her with the screwdriver and ordered her onto a nearby golf course where he raped her again.

He then stole her mobile phone and used it to taunt her mother with numerous calls and text messages.

Since his release in 2009, Quinn has been dealt with for breaching licence conditions and was also jailed for a year for offences of attempted burglary and attempted car theft.

Belfast Crown Court heard that on 10 January Quinn breached the terms of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) by consuming alcohol in the hostel he was staying in.

In suspending his two month jail term for two years, Judge Patrick Lynch QC told him that if he continued to breach court orders "you will be back before the court time and time again".

He also warned him that if he committed any further offences: "I can assure you that as far as I'm concerned, these two months will be consecutive to any other sentence."

Prosecution lawyer Jonathan Lowry said that Quinn drinking alcohol was in breach of hostel rules as well as prohibitions placed on him in order to reduce the risk he poses to the public.

Judge Lynch told Quinn he was suspending the jail term because of his early guilty plea and because he had already served a sentence on account of the same act.