Convicted killer back behind bars

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A convicted killer who failed to return to jail was formally remanded into custody today (Monday) accused of being unlawfully at large.

Standing in the dock of Lisburn Magistrates Court, 41-year-old Stephen Henry was charged with two offences, alleging that on 30 October he was unlawfully at large and possessed class C benzodiazepine.

A detective constable told the court he believed he could connect Henry to the two offences, while defence barrister Patrick Taylor asked for it to be recorded that Henry would be pleading guilty to the drug offence.

Henry was jailed for murdering father-of-two John Cooke in Lisburn in 2004 after he stabbed his victim with a Samurai-style sword.

He did not return to Magilligan Prison last Monday after being given a pass to visit his family.

On Friday, Henry was released by a court in Dublin after an arrest for a public order offence but he was released because a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) had not been issued.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said Henry was arrested in Waringstown in County Armagh shortly before 11.30pm on Friday.

After he did not return to prison on Monday, the PSNI appealed for information regarding his whereabouts and urged Henry to hand himself in to the authorities without further delay.

However, he crossed the border on Tuesday and was picked up by the Gardaí in Dublin on Friday.

In court today, District Judge Rosie Watters confirmed the case come under the jurisdiction of Craigavon Magistrates Court and ordered Henry to appear there via videolink on November 24.

As Henry, who appeared wearing a black hoodie and grey T-shirt, was being led out of the dock, a female in the public gallery was physically shepherded from the court shouting at him “murdering scumbag.”