Europe

'Samurai sword killer' wanted in NI released in Dublin

Stephen Henry Image copyright Department of Justice
Image caption Stephen Henry failed to return to prison on Monday

A man who murdered his victim with a Samurai-style sword has been released by a court in Dublin because a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) had not been issued.

Stephen Henry, 41, did not return to Magilligan Prison on Monday, after he was issued a day-release pass to visit his family.

Henry was jailed for murdering father-of-two John Cooke in Lisburn in 2004.

He was arrested in Dublin on Friday morning for a public order offence.

An EAW had not been issued yet and could take a week, Dublin District Court was told.

After he did not return to prison on Monday the PSNI appealed for information into his whereabouts and urged Henry to hand himself in to the authorities without further delay.

However, he crossed the border on Tuesday and was picked up by the Gardaí (Irish police) in Dublin on Friday.

He was arrested at Merrion Road at 08:50 BST on a charge under the Public Order Act for being intoxicated to an extent he might endanger himself or any other person in his vicinity.

The offence can result in a fine but no jail sentence.

The Garda officer told the court that Henry, of no fixed abode, had been brought to Irishtown Garda station and made no reply when charged.

'Homelessness no reason to refuse bail'

He objected to bail, however, the judge said the charge did not carry a penal sanction, just a fine and the High Court would not be pleased if he refused.

There was no charge before the court for being unlawfully at large and he also said that being homeless was not a reason for refusal of bail.

Henry's solicitor said she thought it would take at least a week for a European Arrest Warrant to be issued.

The garda officer said contact would be made with Interpol.

The judge held that he had to grant bail but because Henry had no ties to the jurisdiction he was going to require him to lodge €50 cash.

His solicitor said her client had been robbed overnight and his bag and phone were taken. She argued that asking for a cash lodgement was tantamount to refusing bail.

The judge said the lodgement would be required because Henry had no ties to the State which would have resulted in him being remanded in custody until the bail money was lodged.

The defence solicitor told the judge her client was pleading guilty.

The judge gave him a €75 fine which must be paid within one month.

More on this story