On-the-run murderer surrenders to authorities in North

On-The-Run Murderer Surrenders To Authorities In North
Thomas McCabe had been released from prison on licence, in December 2008 but had it revoked by authorities in the North in January 2018 after a number of breaches
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Paul Neilan

An on-the-run murderer who bludgeoned a UK teenager to death with a scaffolding pole 30 years ago has voluntarily surrendered to authorities in the North.

Thomas McCabe (56) was convicted in October 1990 of the murder of 16-year-old Richard Hunt at the Old Bailey in London and was on licence in the North after completing an 18-year sentence.


McCabe had been sentenced to life by the court for the murder but was sent back to his native Northern Ireland to serve out his sentence.

Release on licence

He had been released from Maghaberry Prison in Lisburn, on licence, in December 2008 but had it revoked by authorities in the North in January 2018 after a number of breaches.

After two years on the run, McCabe was arrested by gardaí in August of this year in Dublin on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Laganside Courts in Belfast in December 2018.

Today, McCabe, after indicating his voluntary consent to his surrender, gave evidence before Mr Justice Paul Burns that he consents to serve the balance of his sentence in the North.


Fears for safety

Mr Justice Burns remanded McCabe in custody to be surrendered to authorities in the North in less than 10 days for breaches of his licence - caused by leaving the jurisdiction without notifying Northern authorities.

At a previous hearing at the High Court, barrister Mr Kieran Kelly BL said that his client, McCabe, had indicated his willingness to be surrendered to the authorities in the North but that McCabe was seeking assurances that he could be kept away from the general prison population, out of fear for his safety.

Mr Justice Paul Burns had asked Mr Kelly if his client felt that he "might be a victim of a gang war in prison".

Mr Kelly said that there had been an incident which was cause for concern for McCabe, who had been living in the Republic, and that his client might be implicated in this.

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Mr Justice Burns had said that there was already an obligation on authorities in the North regarding McCabe's safety while in custody and that it was a matter for the prison services there to ensure McCabe's safety.

Mr Kelly said that he had asked the State solicitor to write to authorities in the North so that his client might "be kept apart from the mainstream prison population".


McCabe, who is originally from the North and has connections to Newry, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Dublin, absconded from the jurisdiction two years ago and the PSNI had put up a reward for information on his whereabouts.

He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in October, 1990, for the murder of teenager Richard Hunt - a visiting cousin of McCabe's then-girlfriend - who was attacked with a scaffolding pole by a drunken McCabe at her London home.

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