Protect victims - don't grant bail to their attackers
The recent brutal murders of Caron Smyth and her partner Finbar McGrillen were made possible by almost unbelievable failings on the part of the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) officers. The lead-up to the murders is a painful account of violence that could have been avoided:
PSNI officers released Caron and Finbar's killer, Sean Hegarty, on bail TWICE just before he finally killed. Both times, he was released after committing assaults.
Shortly before the murder, Hegarty was arrested for attacking a relative with a knife. He already had 70 convictions at this time. He was released on bail.
Hegarty, Caron's ex, was then arrested for holding Caron against her will and attacking her. Incredibly, he was then released on bail again. This time, he and his accomplice killed Caron and Finbar.
The Police Ombudsman has delivered a damning report on the decisions and actions of the PSNI officers. The PSNI have apologised, but have not explicitly altered their approach to releasing violent offenders on bail. Please sign this petition to demand that the PSNI will not grant bail to violent offenders who have previous victims living in the country. Demand that bail decisions protect vulnerable people from harm.
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The recent tragic murder of Caron Smyth and Finbar McGrillen highlights the need to tighten rules on who can be granted bail.
To keep victims safe, assailants should not be granted bail if any of their victims are living in the country.