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Sinn Féin back family demand for full Attracta Harron Inquiry

13 April, 2006

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that there is something seriously wrong with how the judicial system treats perpetrators of sexual crimes and the how sexual offenders like Trevor Hamilton, who murdered local woman Attracta Harron only 4 months after being released from jail for a serious sexual crime, are monitored.

Mr Doherty backed the family's call for a full public inquiry into the circumstances, which enabled Hamilton to have the freedom to carry out the brutal murder of Attracta Harron despite the level of threat that he posed to society.

The local MP is also seeking a meeting with Kate Chivers from the Criminal Justice Inspectorate to discuss the major shortcomings in the system which contributed to the murders of Attracta Harron and Castlederg teenager Arlene Arkinson.

Mr Doherty said:

"Following Trevor Hamilton's horrific rape of a young woman in February 2000, it was evident from his physiological profile that upon release from prison he would continue to pose an extreme threat to women and girls.

"Despite the clear threat that he posed, it is incomprehensible that Trevor Hamilton had the freedom of move about with ease and abduct and brutally murder Attracta Harron just a few months after his release for the earlier rape conviction while still on parole.

"The criminal justice system has failed the Harron family just as it has failed the Arkinson family and the many other victims of dangerous sex offenders where the risk of repeat offending was known to be high.

"I fully support the demand of the Harron family for an Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Attracta's murder, the findings of which must lead to wholesale change in how sex offenders are monitored upon release from prison, as well as changes in how the Judicial and Prison systems and the Probation Service deals with perpetrators of sexual crimes." ENDS

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