NewsCrime Desk

Lag in custody following fatal knife attack on Cork Prison inmate

Graham Johnson
Graham Johnson

A prisoner has been arrested by gardai in connection with the fatal stabbing of Cork Prison inmate Graham Johnson.

The 41-year-old was stabbed in the chest and had his throat slit before prison staff were able to intervene.

A 30-year-old, who had been held in a high security unit following the brutal attack, was today formally arrested and taken to Mayfield Garda Station for questioning.

Three separate investigations are currently underway into the fatal attack which took place in the prison kitchen at 4pm on Saturday 16th of May.

Mr Johnson was subjected to the unprovoked assault after a minor disagreement earlier about a TV remote control.

Tragically, the victim - who was serving a four year sentence for theft - was scheduled to be released in just four weeks having completed his sentence at Cork Prison.

Mr Johnson, who was from Bandon in west Cork, had told prison officials he planned to rebuild his life having received help for a serious gambling problem while in custody.

Both prisoners were working near the kitchens as ‘trustee inmates’.

Emergency medical treatment was provided for the injured inmate at the scene.

However, he died before he could be transferred by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Mr Johnson suffered from a significant chest injury as well as major blood loss.

A full post mortem examination was carried by the State Pathologist at CUH.

The results were not released by gardai for operational reasons but Mr Johnson is understood to have died from a single deep stab wound to the chest.

The prisoner suspected of involvement in the attack has a history of violence.

He is also a chronic drug addict.

The man is described as being extremely volatile.

A number of other inmates witnessed the fatal attack and were said to be deeply shocked.

Cork is considered one of the safest prisons in the State.

Mr Johnson was described by prison sources as “a model prisoner” and someone who “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

He received a prison sentence in November 2011 from Cork Circuit Criminal Court for a series of thefts related to personal gambling problems.

Mr Johnson was a chronic gambler whose addiction issues began when he was aged just 14 years.

He was handed a five year prison term, with the final 12 months suspended, after he pleaded guilty to stealing €19,000 to feed his gambling habit.

Mr Johnson stole €1,620 in cash, €1,500 in gold jewellery and €1,500in cheques from a Mallow goldsmiths in April 2011.He also pleaded guilty to stealing €3,000 in cash and €12,000 from a development firm in west Cork where he was working.

The latter incidents occurred in 2007.