Convicted sex offender George Clingain arrested in Ireland

George Clingain (38) has been arrested in Ireland
George Clingain (38) has been arrested in Ireland
  • Appeal traces wanted man to Ireland
  • Convicted sex offender found in a tent on a beach
  • Police Scotland decline to comment
  • Further Irish court appearance expected this week

A 38-year-old man who was the subject of an appeal by Police Scotland last week has been arrested in Ireland.

George Clingain, from Parkhead, Glasgow a convicted sex offender in relation to child pornography offences, was found living rough in a tent on a beach in Tralee.

Cork prison, Ireland

Cork prison, Ireland

He appeared before a special sitting of Killarney District Court, after being arrested by gardaí officers.

Detective Garda James Hurley, the officer with responsibility for registered sex offenders, outlined to the court how Clingain had been in various places since July, including Donegal, the birthplace of his late father, Cork, Limerick, and most recently Tralee.

“In all these locations he has not registered with any member of An Garda Síochána as required if he is at a location for seven days,” the detective said.

He made no reply when charged at Tralee Garda station on Saturday night for failing to notify gardaí of his address, Det Hurley said. The offence carries a five-year sentence.

Clingain would be safer in custody in Cork Prison than in a homeless hostel in Tralee where gardaí would have no governance over his protection.

Padraig O’Connell solicitor for Clingain

Police Scotland issued an alert last week which this paper published requesting public assistance in tracing Clingain, who police advised, should not be approached directly.

Clingain had been placed on the sex offenders register for a period of one year after being convicted in March of child pornography, of taking indecent photographs of a child or children.

He was also under the supervision of the probation service.

Inspector Donal Ashe said the State objected to bail and wanted him remanded to Cork Prison until Thursday’s district court sitting in Tralee.

Padraig O’Connell solicitor for Clingain said “There will be a guilty plea to the charge. My client, a separated man, has never been in custody previously on any matter and was returning to Scotland to work.

“He had not met with his police supervisor or his probation officer in Scotland as both were on holiday in July when he left. He could reside in a homeless hostel until Tralee court on Thursday.”

Det Hurley agreed with Mr O’Connell that Clingain had been “totally co-operative” and he had never been in custody on any offence.

However, the detective told Judge King that he had to consider “the safety aspect for Clingain” if word got out he was on a sex offender’s list.

Judge King noted that Clingain had not made the authorities aware of his location and that an alert had to be issued in an attempt to trace him. He said custody was “the safest option” for the accused and as directions were expected from the DPP within days, the matter would be over and done with by this week, and he was remanded into custody until then.

On request of Mr O’Connell, Judge King directed the Governor of Cork Prison to ensure the safety of the Clingain.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “As there are ongoing legal proceedings in this matter it would be innapropriate for us to make any comment.”