NewsCrime Desk

EXCLUSIVE: Man arrested in connection with Brockwell escape in prison for manslaughter

Brockwell stabbed himself while being tasered by PSNI officers in Belfast
Brockwell stabbed himself while being tasered by PSNI officers in Belfast

The man arrested in connection with the escape of a notorious criminal Derek Brockwell is serving a sentence in Portlaoise Maximum Security prison for manslaughter.

He and another well-known gang figure stabbed a young man in the back after a Christmas altercation.

The man is believed to have befriended Brockwell in jail and is thought to have agreed to help him escape.

Officers believe that he recruited his parents, aged in their 60s, to help with the escape.

Brockwell escaped from Tallaght hospital on 17 February after he was escorted there from Portlaoise Prison for a hospital visit, with prison officers attacked and stabbed before the criminal was driven away on a motorbike.

One of the prison officers accompanying him was stabbed with a knife in the stomach and underwent emergency surgery for his serious injuries, according to a spokesman for the Irish Prison Service.

Another officer was stabbed in the hand and possibly the face or neck during the incident.

It is believed Brockwell, who was handed 22 life sentences in the UK for armed robbery and had appeared as a wanted man on BBC's Crimewatch show, was picked up after escaping from custody by an awaiting accomplice on a motorbike or in a car which sped away from the scene.

Derek Brockwell

The serial criminal was two years into a seven-year sentence for armed robbery after he admitted holding up the Bank of Ireland in Blackrock, south Dublin, in October 2012.

He was also convicted of robbing a post office and a bookmakers as well as for firearms offences in Dublin. 

He was recaptured the next day in Belfast and is still in custody, with news on Tuesday morning confirming that detectives from Tallaght arrested a couple in the Ashbourne in Co Meath and a man in Portlaoise Prison.

Nicola Tallant and Kevin Palmer