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Tallaght man in court for injuring prison officer during inmate attack

CourtsBy Sunday World
Tallaght man in court for injuring prison officer during inmate attack

A man who injured a prison officer while attempting to attack a fellow inmate with warm water has been given a two year suspended sentence.

Shane O'Connor (34) of Glean na Hearne, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to production of an article at Mountjoy Prison on September 25, 2013.

Garda David Smith told the court last October when evidence was first heard, that prison officer Leon Maguire was visiting cells to refill jugs of hot water which the prisoners used to make tea.

When he opened O'Connor's cell and began to fill his jug with water, O'Connor rushed past him and attempted to throw the water at another prisoner, Keith Hughes, with whom he had a history of disagreement.

Mr Maguire tried to restrain O'Connor and was struck on the forehead with the water jug.

O'Connor's cellmate also rushed out of the cell and both were restrained by prison officers who came to Mr Maguire's aid.

Mr Maguire was treated in the Mater Hospital for a cut to his forehead and received one stitch.

O'Connor was serving a four year jail term for robbery. He has since been released. He has 29 previous convictions including assault causing harm, criminal damage, possession of knives, robbery and theft.

Gda Smith agreed with Martina Baxter BL, defending, that the water thrown by O'Connor was “tepid”. He also agreed that Mr Maguire told a prison hearing that O'Connor had not set out to assault him.

The court heard O'Connor was undergoing drug rehabilitation at Tiglin Centre, and Gda Smith confirmed that he was currently adhering to the conditions of his treatment.

Ms Baxter told Judge Patricia Ryan that her client was now drug free for a year, the longest period he had been off drugs since he was 15 years old.

Judge Ryan had adjourned the case after hearing evidence in October to allow for the preparation of a probation report.

She said it was a serious offence but accepted that O'Connor had made admissions, had family support and was now entirely drug free. She suspended the two year prison term on strict conditions.

Sonya McLean