herald

Friday 17 November 2017

Rapist says sorry before hanging himself in cell

A PRISONER who died in hospital after being found unconscious in his cell left a note saying he was sorry for his evil past.

Dean Barry (24) was one of five thugs armed with a wheelbrace, screwdriver and shovel who raped a woman after locking her male friend inside a car boot in Cratloe Woods, Co Clare.

He was rushed to hospital after he was found unconscious in his jail cell at Limerick Prison around lunchtime on Saturday. He was later pronounced dead in hospital.

A prison inquiry is under way, but gardai ruled out foul play after Barry's body was examined by a pathologist.

Barry (24) was on remand at the prison after he was charged with an arson attack in which he allegedly set fire to his house with his mother and girlfriend inside it.

A source at the prison confirmed that he had been sharing a cell with his younger brother Mark (21), who is serving a sentence for robbery.

The source said that Mark, from Garryglass Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, was distraught after he was told by prison staff that his older sibling was dead.

Hanging

"He was found by prison staff hanging by a sheet next to a bed in his cell," a source said.

"He received first aid by staff and then by paramedics. An ambulance was called and he was taken to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital where he was given more first aid. He was pronounced dead at hospital."

It is understood Barry had left a note, saying goodbye to his family, and apologising for his past crimes.

He had pleaded not guilty on October 18, 2011 at Limerick District Court to setting fire to a mattress in his house.

On the same day he was charged with assaulting a man by hitting him over the head with a glass bottle, smashing the bottle and sticking it in the man's face.

On September 29, 2011, Barry was also charged with assaulting a woman in Limerick city.

Gardai alleged he punched the woman across the face and was aggressive and drunk.

Abusive

On September 8, 2011, he was given a suspended two-month sentence after terrorising staff and patients at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

He pleaded guilty to being intoxicated and engaging in threatening and abusive language and behaviour at the hospital on August 11, 2011.

Barry was one of four teenage boys and a 25-year old man, convicted of a savage gang rape of a woman and serious assault of a man in her company, at woods in Cratloe in January, 2004.

Barry, two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old and the older man each raped the woman.

The five were armed with a screwdriver, a wheel brace and a shovel, when they subjected the woman and her male companion to 45 minutes of horror.

They ordered the man into the boot of the couple's car and from inside the boot the man heard the gang shout "my turn next".

The woman was dragged into the car and the gang took turns raping her while they threatened to burn the car with her companion in the boot if she resisted.

hnews@herald.ie

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