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Cell trashed Mountjoy inmate 'cracked' and caused €1k damages over Covid lockup, court told

Paul Bradley (41) was on 23-hour lockup at Mountjoy jail when he "cracked" and smashed TVs, a toilet and sink, causing just under €1,000 worth of damage

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Mountjoy Prison

Mountjoy Prison

Mountjoy Prison

A prison inmate trashed his cell in an "expression of extreme frustration" at the challenges of Covid lockdown, a court heard.

Paul Bradley (41) was on 23-hour lockup at Mountjoy jail when he "cracked" and smashed TVs, a toilet and sink, causing just under €1,000 worth of damage.

Judge Bryan Smyth sentenced him to another three months on completion of the four-year jail term he is already serving for a pharmacy robbery.

Bradley, from Dublin's south inner city, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a toilet, sink and TV on May 29 and a TV on June 3 this year.

A garda told Dublin District Court the accused was alone in a single-occupancy cell when he carried out €823 worth of damage to a TV, toilet, sink and kettle on the first date.

He broke a TV in the recreation hall on the second date, costing €175.

Bradley was serving a four-year sentence for robbery handed down in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in March this year, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Robert Purcell said the court would be aware of the challenges prisoners and staff had had in the last 18 months of lockdown.

Some prisoners, including the accused, had found it quite challenging.

"At times, the challenges are not dealt with in a way that we can understand and comes out in these expressions of extreme frustration," Mr Purcell said.

At the time, Bradley was also in the process of withdrawing from methadone.

He had partly dealt with his heroin issues and was on 23-hour lockup when he "cracked and carried out these ridiculous acts of damage."

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Bradley had been punished within the prison system for causing the damage.

Reductions were made in his prison allowance to discharge the cost of the damage, and he had a considerable amount of time ahead of him to make those contributions. It had also led to the loss of privileges.

Bradley apologised for the offences.

The accused had 136 previous convictions and had spent a considerable amount of his 41 years in custody. He had a long history of drug abuse.

The judge said he had to make the three-month sentence consecutive. He took the number of previous convictions into account.

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