herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Fugitive Evans set for flight home from Spain to face trial for murder

Dean Evans was arrested in Spain
Dean Evans was arrested in Spain

A fugitive on the run for 15 months after fleeing trial for murder was expected to arrive back in Dublin overnight.

Dean Evans was one of three men charged with killing dissident republican Peter Butterly.

Just days before he was due to face trial in January 2017, he vanished with his girlfriend, Stacey Roche.

She had previously been the girlfriend of Real IRA chief Alan Ryan (32) who was shot dead in 2012.

Shot

The Special Criminal Court in Dublin issued a warrant for the arrest of Evans (27), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, after he failed to appear for trial.

He was arrested last week in a flat the couple shared in Fuengirola, Spain, after a joint operation between gardai and Spanish authorities. Ms Roche was not arrested.

Last night, he was due to be flown under escort to Dublin and immediately remanded in custody. The process to have Evans tried in the Special Criminal Court will then resume.

In his absence, Edward McGrath (35) and Sharif Kelly (46) were both tried for the murder of Butterly (35), who was shot in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath, on March 6, 2013.

Kelly, of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan, and McGrath, of Lanndale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght, were both sentenced to life in prison for the killing.

Detective Inspector William Hanrahan, of the Special Detective Unit, told prosecuting counsel Paul O'Higgins that Evans had signed on in accordance with his bail conditions at Raheny Garda Station the Sunday before the trial was to begin.

Evans had been granted bail to travel to Spain in the summer of 2016.

Garda had opposed the move, arguing that the strength of evidence against him and the seriousness of the crime made him a potential flight risk.

He spent two weeks in Spain before returning to Ireland but fled the country before the trial was due to begin.

After learning that Evans had been arrested in Spain, Butterly's widow, Eithne, told the Herald: "I always knew that he would be located some day, and now I am glad that he will face trial for murdering Peter."

Last year, another five men were also charged in connection with the murder.

Their trials are scheduled to take place in October at the Special Criminal Court.

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