NewsCrime Desk

Investigation into how violent prisoner got his hands on knife used in jail killing

Victim: Graham Johnson died after being attacked with a kitchen knife
Victim: Graham Johnson died after being attacked with a kitchen knife

An investigation has been launched by Gardai and the Irish Prison Service into how a prisoner with a violent history was able to obtain a knife used in a fatal stabbing.

Graham Johnson (41) was the victim of a stabbing in the kitchens of Cork Prison on Saturday evening at 5pm.

The 41-year-old suffered a single stab wound to the chest and a minor neck injury before prison guards were able to intervene in the incident. 

Johnson was involved in an altercation with another prisoner about a TV remote control, it has emerged. He was one of six men in the kitchen when he was attacked by a prisoner with a history of violence. 

Speaking about the incident, prison officials said the two men - who were not considered high risk - were both allowed to work in the kitchen as an earned privilege. 

"Both of these guys would have been trusted inmates and would have been given a job as a result," a source said. "It is a very sought after position."

A kitchen knife was the weapon used in the killing, the source added. 

The "model prisoner" told officials he planned to rebuild his life upon release. The victim, who was from Bandon in County Cork, was due to be released at around this time next year. 

He was attacked by a prisoner, a man in his 30s, who is serving a lengthy sentence for a serious assault. One of his previous offences included an assault with a weapon, sources said. 

His victim was jailed for a number of thefts related to a personal gambling addiction. He pleaded guilty to stealing more than €19,000.

The violent attacker is being held in isolation as an investigation is launched into the incident.