NewsCrime Desk

Close associate of Dumbrell brothers led riot and torture of prisoner

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Out of control: Warren Dumbrell
Out of control: Warren Dumbrell

A CLOSE associate of the notorious Dumbrell crime brothers led the horrific riot during which a foreign national was tortured in Cloverhill Prison on Wednesday.

The violent thug – who is on remand for charges including threats to kill – is understood to have led a core group of approximately 15 inmates who fought a pitched battle with officers clad in riot gear, who entered the yard to save the life of 21-year-old Afghan Wali Ullah Safi. 

The Sunday World can reveal the riot’s ringleader – who cannot be named for legal reasons as he remains before the courts on serious charges – was involved in rioting in Mountjoy Prison in 2008, when an inmate was stabbed five times.

He has over 100 P19 disciplinary offences clocked up over his years behind bars, including for attacks and threats on prison officers. Violent It is understood, however, that he was not one ofthe 11 inmates who had to be taken to Tallaght Hospital in the wake of the violent confrontation.

Regarded as one of the prison system’s most violentinmates, he is a close associate of Warren and Jeffrey Dumbrell, from Inchicore. Warren (41) and Jeffrey (33), were jailed for life in 2011 after being convicted of the murder of Christopher Cawley at Tyrone Place flats in Inchicore in 2006.

Warren Dumbrell was a key player in the infamous 1997 Mountjoy Prison riots, during which he held a blood-soaked syringe to a prison officer’s throat.

Jeffrey is currently locked up in Wheatfield Prison, where in May he attacked a female nurse by punching her in the head. In the wake of Wednesday’s riots, Irish Prison Service director general Michael Donnellan commended “the management and staff for the very professional manner in which they managed this incident”.

Another ofthe ringleadersis a thug in his 20sfrom Crumlin, who also cannot be named as he is before the courts on a charge of carrying a firearm with criminal intent. Disciplinary proceedings against two prisoners who climbed on to the roof, and remained there for 14 hours, began yesterday.

They came down at 1.30am, some time after an appeal by the grandmother of one of the men. Proof Safi was only in the prison awaiting a court appearance after being found walking along a motorway, near Naas, with no recognised proof of identification last week.

Cloverhill Governor Ronan Maher ordered officers in riot gear to enter the yard at approximately 1.30pm as soon as the inmates attacked Safi. He sustained a broken arm, had his face slashed with a shiv and was repeatedly punched in a merciless attack by several ofthe core rioters.

Riot officers moving to rescue him were pelted with broken pieces of goalposts and razor wire. One officer is understood to have suffered bruising to his shin after being targeted by the Dumbrell associate, who lashed out with a piece of broken goalpost underneath the officer’s shield.

Control dogs were not available asthe Irish Prison Service withdrew the dogs from service several months ago, in what it said at the time was a decision taken on the basis that the dogs were “completely underutilised”.

“This was a highly volatile and dangerous situation that saw officers have to fight at close quarters against a core group of 15 extremely violent inmates,” a source said. Risk “The confrontation lasted approximately five to 10 minutes and involved officers – at some risk to their own safety – being deployed to round up the ringleaders.

“The decision to enter the yard came after the inmates attacked Mr Safi, breaking his arm and slashing his face. The treatment ofthis inmate was a major factor in the decision to enter the yard.”

On Friday, Mr Safi was moved to a “secure” area of the prison, where he is now receiving medical and psychological treatment. Itis understood that an application has now been made on behalf of Mr Safi to seek asylum here in Ireland.

His solicitor, Conal Boyce, said that Mr Safi was “quite traumatised”, but doing better since he had been moved to the new cell. “He was held against his will for a period during the time which that protest took place,” he added.