NewsCrime Desk

Charity says cellmate assessment would have prevented grisly death of young inmate

Stephen Egan
Stephen Egan

The violent death of Gary Douch could have been avoided if his dangerous cell mate was risk assessed first, a charity has said.

21-year-old Gary Douch was kicked and stamped to death by mentally ill Stephen Egan in 2006.

The Jesuit Centre said the tragedy could have been prevented if a “cell share risk assessment” had been carried out.

The comments came as the latest report from the Irish Prison Service showed a 9 per cent increase in the number of people sent to prison last year.

Jesuit Centre spokesman Eoin Carroll said: “Had there been a cell share risk assessment it is likely that he would not have been killed.”

“The Irish Prison Service’s three year plan 2012 -2015 committed in year one to introduce appropriate assessment procedures on committal.”

“This needs to include a formal cell sharing risk assessment, which has not been completed.”

In 2005 Stephen Egan launched a savage attack on 21-year-old Gary Douch, who he did not know, delusionally blaming him for raping his sister and abusing his mother.

Gary Douche

Egan said he kicked Douch in the chest “like a football kick, like Ryan Giggs” and repeatedly kicked and jumped on his head.

He goaded Douch and told him to “take his beating like a man”.

The 16-and-a-half stone thug then defecated into a plastic bag and smeared the excrement on Douch’s face and ears.

He was still breathing when this happened.

He then took Douch’s t-shirt off and kept it as a trophy.

While carrying out the 10-minute attack, he threatened his cellmates to keep quiet and then took a mattress, put it over Douch’s body and slept on it for the night while listening to his Walkman.

When he was arrested, Egan asked detectives if he could have his music device back.

Stephen Egan was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in 2009 and is currently being held at the Central Mental Hospital.

Mr Douch’s family received a formal apology from the then Justice Minister Alan Shatter and the former Governor of Mountjoy.