Man who threatened prison officer while in custody is handed 18-month prison sentence
Judge Nolan said the defendant appears to be “too fond” of making threats and had ‘better stop’
A man who threatened a prison officer while in custody has been handed an 18-month prison sentence.
Paul Darcy (26) of Calry Court, Stephen Street, Sligo, pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill or cause serious harm to a prison officer at Mountjoy Prison on August 17, 2019. Darcy is currently serving a prison sentence on a separate matter and is due for release in 2026.
Imposing an 18-month sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today, Judge Martin Nolan told Darcy that if he makes similar threats while in custody, he will be back before the courts again.
“You are getting a big chance”, Judge Nolan told Darcy. He said the defendant appears to be “too fond” of making threats and had “better stop”.
The court heard Darcy was making a phone call on a landing at Mountjoy Prison while prison officers were master locking prisoners into their cells for the evening. Darcy finished his call, then went to a cell door to speak to a prisoner before going to another door to speak to someone else.
The prison officer instructed Darcy to return to his cell three or four times, but Darcy refused to do this, and then charged towards the injured party aggressively.
The defendant came up to the prison officer shouting and said, “I'll punch the head off you”. The prison officer repeated the instruction for Darcy to return to his cell, and he did. The defendant then told the prison officer that on his release, he would “do you and your gaffe”.
The prisoner officer was very concerned by the menacing way the threat was made, and gardai were contacted. Darcy refused to speak with gardai when they arrived at the prison. No victim impact statement was submitted to the court.
Darcy has a number of previous convictions, including five for making threats to kill, seven for theft and 19 for public order offences.
The investigating garda agreed with Keith Spencer BL, defending, that Darcy didn't follow up his threats to the prison officer when he was released. The defendant is currently serving a sentence in Mountjoy Prison and has caused no difficulties to prison staff.
He has also apologised directly on several occasions to the prison officer.
Mr Spencer told the court that Darcy is on an enhanced prisoner regime and is studying for his Junior Certificate while in custody. He said Darcy had made an “empty threat” at the time to the prison officer and accepts he shouldn't have acted as he did.
Darcy has two children and moved to Sligo to “extract himself from a criminal fraternity”, Mr Spencer said. He said Darcy is drug-free and using his time in prison constructively. He asked Judge Nolan not to extend his client's stay in prison.
Judge Nolan said the prison officer was doing his duty when this incident occurred, but it seems relations are amicable between both parties. He noted Darcy had apologised to the injured party and “has a long way to go” on his current sentence.
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