Scores of sex offenders were released on parole from Magilligan Prison last year, the Sentinel can reveal.
Justice Minister David Ford had been asked to provide figures for the number of prisoners released on parole from HMP Maghaberry and Magilligan during last year.
DUP MLA Lord Morrow asked the Minister “to detail the number of prisoners released on parole
from HMP Maghaberry and HMP Magilligan during 2012, and of those released how many had been imprisoned for committing sexual related crime; terrorist related crime; and other crime.”
Justice Minister David Ford revealed that in 2012 well over 1,000 prisoners were released from Magilligan on parole, 50 of whom had been imprisoned for committing sexual related crime.
In 2012, there were 1,437 prisoners released from Magilligan on parole and a further 539 prisoners released from Maghaberry. There were 50 people released from Magilligan who had been imprisoned for sexual related crime and a further 24 released from Maghaberry who had been locked up for the same type of crime.
No-one jailed for terrorist related crime was relased on parole from Magilligan in 2012, whereas there were 20 released from Maghaberry.
DUP MLA Lord Morrow, who comes from a legal background also asked the Justice Minister for information on the number of sex offenders who were “unaccounted for”, however he was advised to ask the PSNI instead.
He asked Mr Ford: “how many convicted sex offenders being managed in the community are currently unaccounted for; and of these offenders for how long they have been missing; what is their category of sex offender; and when they were convicted; and released back into the community?”
The Minister replied: “Information concerning offenders who have failed to comply with the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 is a matter for the Chief Constable, who is accountable to the Northern Ireland Policing Board. I am committed to respecting the operational independence of the Chief Constable and the role of the Policing Board. You may therefore wish to direct your question to the PSNI.”