Prison Has ‘Failed The Public’ Says McDonnell

An on-the-run prisoner should never have been allowed out on parole, an MP has said. Dr Alasdair McDonnell said he had been fielding calls from concerned residents in south Belfast, where Barry Kevin Donegan Moyna left a man brain-damaged in a hammer attack.

The 22-year-old was jailed for eight years in February 2005 for inflicting grievous bodily harm on Maurice McCracken as he slept at his home in Strangford Avenue in March 2003. “This man was sent to prison to protect the public and the prison has failed the public,” Dr McDonnell said.

Moyna has been at large since failing to return to Maghaberry jail in Co Antrim on Thursday after being given temporary release. He was also found guilty of aggravated burglary and assault.

South Belfast SDLP MP Dr McDonnell said there needed to be tighter measures in place. “I don`t think that these people should be allowed fairly relaxed parole and allowed to abscond,” he said.

“I would suggest that if necessary the parole should be supervised. About 20 people have expressed concern and apprehension that this man who inflicted such a serious attack on Maurice McCracken should be allowed parole at such an early stage.”

Moyna`s brother, Gerard, is serving a 15-year sentence after being convicted of attempted murder over the same attack.

Mr McCracken, who is in his 50s, was left severely and permanently disabled by the attack and needs 24-hour care.

Jailing the brothers at Belfast Crown Court, the judge, Mr Justice Deeny, said Mr McCracken had been “brutally attacked” without the slightest provocation or justification of any kind.

Barry Moyna is said to be about 5ft 5in and of medium build with brown hair and brown eyes.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland urged him to hand himself in to the nearest police station.

Officers also appealed for information from anyone who had seen him over the past few days or who knew of his whereabouts.