Extradited woman released after garda failed to show for work


A WOMAN who was arrested for arson and remanded in custody on foot of an extradition warrant failed to appear in court because the escort from the prison in Dublin failed to turn up at work.
Valerie Reid of 1 Woodlodge Estate, Knappagh, Westport, was extradited from the UK after she fled the jurisdiction following the alleged arson of a building on Altamont Street, Westport, on May 13, 2015.
She appeared before Ballina District Court shortly after her arrest at Dublin Airport and was remanded in custody to appear before last week’s sitting of Westport District Court, where she was due to be presented with the book of evidence.
However, at the start of court, Ms Reid had not arrived from the Dóchas Women’s Prison in Mountjoy. When asked why she had not been produced in court, Garda Denis Egan explained that he phoned the prison and was told the garda who was due to escort her had not turned up for work.
Judge Mary Devins described the explanation as ‘completely and utterly unacceptable’ and ‘frankly hard to credit in this day and age’.
She said that because Ms Reid was not present in court, she would make no order, which meant that Ms Reid could be released.
The defendant was released but rearrested and subsequently brought to Castlebar Courthouse later that day for a special sitting of the District Court. She was served with the Book of Evidence and remanded to appear before the next sitting of Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court in January.