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prison attack Inmate headbutted officer who told him to stop smoking in jail, court hears

Ruzmond Muwaniri (32) had previous assault convictions and was serving a three-year sentence when he lunged at the prison guard "out of nowhere" and attacked him.

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General view of entrance to Mountjoy prison, off North Circular road, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

General view of entrance to Mountjoy prison, off North Circular road, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

General view of entrance to Mountjoy prison, off North Circular road, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

A PRISON inmate headbutted an officer in the face when he was asked to stop smoking on a landing, a court has heard.

Ruzmond Muwaniri (32) had previous assault convictions and was serving a three-year sentence when he lunged at the prison guard "out of nowhere" and attacked him.

Judge Bryan Smyth gave him another four-month sentence.

Muwaniri, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assaulting the officer at Mountjoy Prison on July 14 last year.

Dublin District Court heard the victim was on duty on a landing when he saw the accused walking towards him, smoking.

This was against the prison rules and the officer approached Muwaniri and asked him to put out the cigarette, Garda Aoife Scully said.

The accused ignored the request and kept walking.

The officer again walked over and repeated the request. The accused turned around and "out of nowhere" lunged at him and headbutted him to the face.

The victim attended a hospital emergency department, where he was treated for soft tissue and mild head injuries, Gda Scully said.

Muwaniri had 78 previous convictions, for offences including assault.

The accused was finding his prison sentence very difficult, his solicitor John Feaheny told the court.

Muwaniri had suffered from schizophrenia for a considerable amount of time, the solicitor added.

The accused was born in Zimbabwe and lived there for 12 years before coming to Ireland.

Moving from one culture to another was a "traumatic experience" for him and he had difficulties with that, Mr Feaheny said.

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He was not taking medication for his condition and that "seemed to precipitate what happened".

Muwaniri also seemed to have psychological cognitive and memory problems, the court heard.

He was "fine if he's given the right medication at the right time" and "on a day to day basis, he's a gentleman", Mr Feaheny said.

Muwaniri was "very sorry for what happened".

The solicitor had been through the victim impact statement with him and the accused "thoroughly apologised" and knew the effect the assault had on the officer.


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