NewsCrime Desk

Thug who killed Melanie McCarthy McNamara busted with phone in cell

Crime DeskBy Patrick O'Connell
Daniel McDonnell
Daniel McDonnell

THE KILLER of innocent teen Melanie McCarthy McNamara was caught with a contraband mobile phone in his prison cell.

Sources said officers discovered the phone in Daniel McDonnell’s Wheatfield Prison cell during a routine search.

The discovery came as life sentence inmate McDonnell continues his High Court legal battle with the Irish Prison Service in a bid to ‘improve’ his prison conditions.

In May, lawyers for McDonnell – who is regarded as Ireland’s most at risk inmate and who was on 23-hour solitary confinement for his own protection – claimed he would “end up at the Central Mental Hospital, if his prison conditions were not improved”.

A source told the Sunday World: “During a search on McDonnell’s cell, officers recovered a mobile phone. The phone was seized and disciplinary proceedings issued.”

Melanie McCarthy McNamara

It’s understood that since the latest hearing in the Court of Appeal in May, McDonnell has been removed from 23-hour lock-down.

In February, a High Court judge ruled McDonnell’s first year in custody in solitary confinement breached his constitutional rights to bodily and psychological integrity.

A subsequent ruling concluded he needed more time out of his cell as his mental health was suffering.

Both decisions were appealed by the prison authorities, who have said he is at risk and cannot mix with other inmates because he has fallen out with two former associates on the wing.

Innocent 16-year-old Melanie was shot as she sat in a car with her fiancé in Tallaght, West Dublin, on February 8, 2012.

The case against McDonnell centred on letters he wrote in prison. In one of the notes, McDonnell boasted: “Two in the head. The bitch is dead. Ha ha. Left his bitch all over the Sunday World front page. Best night of my poxy life.”