NewsCrime Desk

Vicious inmates hospitalise prison officers in unprovoked attack

Attack: Jason Flaherty
Attack: Jason Flaherty

Three prison officers had to be hospitalised after being attacked by two violent inmates in Mountjoy jail, the Herald has learned.

The three were viciously set upon by two men serving sentences for armed robberies.

One of the prison officers was head-butted in the face and had his lip burst, while another suffered a dislocated finger in the unprovoked attack.

The third officer received bruising to the head after being punched.

Prison sources said the attack happened on Sunday evening on the B1 landing of the North Circular Road jail, the Herald said.

Two prisoners - Jason Flaherty (21) of Briarwood Lawn in Blanchardstown, and Kenneth Williams (30) of Barry Avenue in Finglas - were removed from the landing after the attack. They now face disciplinary actions which could see their privileges, such as visitation and recreation rights, reduced.

Gardai were also told of the attack and the pair could face criminal charges depending on the outcome of an investigation.

Jason Flaherty was sentenced to four years in prison in March after pleading guilty to three armed robberies that took place in less than four weeks in August and September 2013.

At the time of the robberies he was on bail on charges of robbery and possession of a firearm in April 2013.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring later sentenced him to four years, with 18 months suspended, for the April 2013 offence. He then received another sentence of four years, but with two years suspended, to give him hope for the future.

Flaherty used either a knife or an imitation gun to frighten shop staff during the spate of hold-ups.

Detective Garda Rebecca Doolan gave evidence at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that the first robbery was carried out on August 21, 2013, at a Spar in Littlepace, Clonee, Dublin.

He robbed the same shop on September 9 and, five days later, he robbed a Spar in Coolmine, Dublin.

On September 15, he robbed an Applegreen petrol station on the Clonsilla Road six minutes after he had robbed a Spar shop on the other side of the road.

Kenneth Williams is serving a six-year jail sentence after he admitted preventing gardai chasing a teenage boy who he had handed a firearm to in 2009.

The father-of-two has 106 previous convictions. He has convictions for shooting at a garda, armed robbery and firearms offences.

He has been shot at, stabbed in the face and beaten up.

Conor Feehan