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nasty Career criminal who jumped on a prison officer and tried to 'gouge his eye' sentenced

The court heard Ferguson punched the officer in the head before trying to gouge his eye

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Garth Ferguson

Garth Ferguson

Garth Ferguson

A career criminal who jumped on top of a prison officer “and tried to gouge his eye” was handed an eight month sentence today.

Lisburn Magistrates Court heard that the prison officer had gone to the cell of Garth Ronald Ferguson to search it on July 28 last year when the 37-year-old "was abusive to him".

A prosecuting lawyer told the court that Ferguson followed up that abuse by jumping off his bed, "punching the officer to the left side of the face, causing him to fall where he jumped on top of him and tried to gouge his eye".

The officer was left with swelling and bruising and blood shot eye. It was heard Ferguson, who appeared at court by videolink from prison, has an address at Queen Crescent in Glengormley.

On a separate bill of indictment Ferguson had also confessed to a count of theft and the lawyers outlined how that related to an incident at Boots in Bangor when Ferguson twice entered the store on 4 March 2020, lifted various goods worth £128 and just walked out.

Ferguson was identified from CCTV but he refused to answer police questions when interviewed.

Defence solicitor Paul Sweeney conceded that Ferguson “has a lengthy record” and is currently serving a prison sentence for burglary with a release date this October.

"The assault in the prison is obviously more serious," conceded the solicitor, who told the court that Ferguson "apologises for it".

Describing the assault as a "nasty offence", DJ Watters revealed that this was Ferguson’s 50th offence for theft or burglary and imposing five months for the assault and eight months for the burglary, she ordered them to be served concurrently.

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