Rapist case adjourned for psychiatric report

A convicted rapist who has been remanded in custody after breaching the conditions of his release will be psychiatrically assessed after a court heard he “wants help.”

Trevor Byrne (aged 36), with a former address at O’Devaney Gardens, had been released in March from an eight-year sentence for the attempted robbery of a woman at her Dublin home on September 15, 2009.

Judge Patricia Ryan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court had suspended the final two years of the sentence, on condition that he enter a bond and abide by strict terms.

Two of these conditions were that Byrne keep an 8pm to 8am curfew and stay off alcohol.

On April 11, Detective Garda Brendan O’Hora told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that he was sitting outside Byrne's address in his patrol vehicle at 10.05pm when he saw Byrne walking towards the house with a bag contained six cans of cider.

Det Gda O’Hora said Byrne claimed he needed alcohol to stay away from drugs.

Judge Patricia Ryan allowed Byrne on that occasion to remain on probation but at a hearing five days later Judge Martin Nolan remanded Byrne in custody after hearing he had again breached his release conditions.

Today Byrne appeared before Judge Ryan to allow her hear details of the alleged breaches.

Yolanda Cummins, a clinical nurse manager at the Central Mental Hospital, told Mr Dwyer that on the night of April 11, Byrne telephoned the hospital and said he wanted to be admitted.

She said: “He said he felt like he was out of control and he was going to explode and he may harm somebody else or himself.”

Ms Cummins said she told Byrne that she would have to contact gardaí after he told her he might hack somebody up. She said Byrne said he had had a row with somebody in a pub.

The witness advised Byrne to go to a hospital. She told John Fitzgerald BL, defending, that Byrne sounded stressed and she took his remarks as a serious threat.

Byrne told the court that he had tried to access counselling services after going back into custody over Easter but that there was a long waiting list.

Judge Ryan did not rule on the reactivation of the suspended sentence and adjourned the matter to July and asked for a psychiatric report to be prepared for Byrne.

She said: “He wants help. He should get that help”.

Byrne has nine previous convictions including one for which he received a 15-year sentence for orally and vaginally raping an 18-year-old woman. In that incident, he had struck the woman on the head with a brick telling her he had to kill her as she would identify him.

He was also sentenced to five years in October 2006 after assaulting a 32-year-old woman whose throat he threatened to cut. When two men came to her rescue, he said he would do the same to them.

It was on his release from this sentence that he carried out the attempted robbery offence, just 14 hours after being let out of jail.

Probation Officer David Williamson said The Probation Service agreed with Mr Fitzgerald that extensive media coverage on Byrne had been “problematic” for The Probation Service in finding him a home.

Mr Williamson revealed that Byrne had to change address six times in 20 days.

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