Man falsely imprisoned fellow inmate during riot at Dublin prison

Cloverhill prison
Cloverhill prison

A prisoner who was involved in holding another inmate hostage during a riot which caused over €30,000 in damage to Cloverhill prison will be sentenced next week.

Scott Hallion (25) was captured on CCTV with his arm around the captive prisoner's neck and holding what looked like a shaved piece of perspex in his hand.

The hostage, a 21-year-old from Afghanistan, was very distressed and was punched, kicked and cut by others during the riot.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Hallion was not a ringleader and got "swept up" in the mayhem.

Hallion, of Charlemont Street, Dublin 2, pleaded guilty to violent disorder, assault causing harm, false imprisonment and criminal damage at Cloverhill Prison on July 29, 2015. He has 52 previous convictions.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing in the case until next week, February 20.

Hallion is due for release in 2019 and this new sentence will be consecutive to his present term.

Detective Garda Donal Daly told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that shortly after prisoners were admitted to the B Yard for exercise, a number of inmates removed a set of goal posts and began using them to strike at glass on the hub, an enclosed area where staff can view the yard.

Prison officers were ordered out of the hub and the yard was sealed off, as the glass on one of the windows was cracked from bottom to top. CCTV cameras were focused on the yard, a prison negotiator was brought in and hoses were deployed by prison officers to no avail.

An Afghan inmate was grabbed by the rioting prisoners and Hallion had his arm around the man's neck with what looked like a shaved piece of curved perspex in his hand. He was later seen to punch or stab the man.

The victim was brought over and back across the yard a number of times as some prisoners made demands. The victim later said that during the incident he was punched all over by people and kicked in the stomach and back. He said he was also stabbed with a pen and cut with glass.

The hostage was released after the Control and Restraint Team arrived in the yard and he was treated in hospital for cuts to his face, hands and arm.

Det Gda Daly said there was an estimated €33,748 in damage caused to the prison during the riot.

He agreed with Ronan Kennedy BL, defending, that other prisoners had been agitating about issues of concern to them and those issues did not concern Hallion. He agreed that it would appear Hallion was taking his lead from the others and became swept up in the tide of events.

He agreed that Hallion was not the main aggressor and that when "matters came to an end", Hallion suffered injuries and required medical treatment.

Mr Kennedy said Hallion and the others were also removed from the general prison population for a significant time and placed on a restrictive regime with loss of privileges.

He said Hallion had a difficult family background, had struggled with addiction since early teenage years and spent a considerable amount of his life in prison.

Mr Kennedy said Hallion would do well when within a custodial setting but struggle on release. He said Hallion wished to make changes in his life and was clean of all substances, as well as undertaking educational courses in custody. Hallion apologised for the hurt he had caused.

Counsel submitted his client was not a ringleader but a person who was in the wrong place, at the wrong time. He said Hallion got swept up in events and became involved in the mayhem which subsequently ensued.

Fiona Ferguson