May 2014: McColgan is still living in Omagh
Violent rapist ‘living in Omagh’
A VIOLENT rapist released from prison seven years into a 15 year sentence is believed to have set up home in Omagh.
Patrick McColgan is back roaming Northern Ireland’s streets after being locked up in 2005 for attacking and falsely imprisoning a woman in Sion Mills.
McColgan’s original 20 year sentence was reduced to 15 years on appeal, despite judges recognising that he posed a major risk to women and children.
Days earlier, he had been released from jail where he was serving a sentence for attempting to rape a child and for indecent assault on a child.
Because he was sent down prior to the scrapping of 50 per-cent remission for sex offenders, the Tyrone man recently walked free after serving just seven years behind bars. His release came to light after he was reportedly spotted visiting relatives in the Strabane area.
Residents on the Carlton Drive housing estate raised the alarm, prompting a local community association to speak to the PSNI and initiate a warning leaflet drop.
McColgan became one of Northern Ireland’s most notorious sex criminals after his lurid history was revealed during his trial seven years ago.
The trial was told he had 421 previous convictions, several of them of a grisly sexual nature.
Serial sex offender sentence cut
A serial sex offender has had his jail sentence cut by five years, even though appeal court judges accepted he posed a major risk to women and children.
Patrick McColgan, of O’Kane Terrace, Strabane, was jailed for 20 years in April 2005 for falsely imprisoning a woman and indecently assaulting her.
Days earlier, he had been released from jail where he was serving a sentence for attempting to rape a child.
The Appeal Court said the trial judge’s increased sentence was not appropriate.
The trial had been told McColgan had 421 previous convictions for offences including rape and indecent assault.
At the trial, the judge had applied a 150% “uplift” to the starting point of eight years for false imprisonment.
McColgan had enticed a woman into his car, then locked the doors and drove her to Gortin, where he kissed her before knocking her head on the steering wheel.
The woman, then aged 25, eventually managed to escape, making her way over barbed wire fences and across fields until she reached a farmhouse.
She was left suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and fearful for her own security.
Lord Justice Campbell, reading a judgement written by the Lord Chief Justice Sir Brian Kerr, said the judge was wrong to apply a percentage uplift to the commensurate sentence in order to determine the protective element of the sentence.
“This, we believe, led to his selection of a greater sentence for this element than was appropriate,” said Lord Justice Campbell, sitting with Lord Justice Sheil.
“We are not unmindful of the substantial risk that this offender presents but we consider that a protective element of 12 years is excessive, especially since this was imposed on the false imprisonment charge.”
The judges reduced the 20-year sentence to 15.