A NOTORIOUS serial rapist has "gone to ground" after discharging himself from hospital, with gardai unable to locate him.
Concern for the man's whereabouts was growing today.
Gardai are hunting for the depraved criminal – classified as one of Ireland's worst sex offenders – after he has not been seen in his north Dublin home since booking himself out of Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown a number of days ago.
The north Dublin man, who is in his late 40s, was previously jailed for 12 years for kidnapping and sexually assaulting four women in a Jack-the-Ripper-style series of attacks.
Last month, the Herald revealed that he had embarked on a terrifying burglary campaign that could lead to a woman being raped or murdered in her home.
Gardai have managed to press certain charges against him in relation to the burglary spree but, despite objections, the sex offender has been released on High Court bail to continue his rampage.
It is understood that the psychotic criminal booked himself into a mental hospital shortly after our article was published, but he has now left the Blanchardstown facility and cannot be located.
A source said: "Gardai need to speak to this man – he has recently been in breach of his release conditions under the terms of the Sexual Offenders Act but there has been no sign of him since he left the hospital.
"This is ,of course, a cause for major concern."
The convicted rapist, who has served three separate jail sentences for a spate of depraved sexual crimes, including rape and sexual assault, is now suspected of multiple burglaries in north Dublin earlier this year.
A senior source said: "There are grave concerns about this man – he is extremely dangerous, very volatile and aggressive and has a deep-rooted hatred of women and gardai.
"The fact that he is now involved in breaking into houses mean women are being placed in a very vulnerable position if they happened to be in the house at the time."