'awful allegation' | 

Mountjoy inmate who falsely accused prison staff of sex assault gets four more months

Patrick Smith (27), who has 177 previous convictions, believed he was being targeted for searches and was ‘extremely cross’

Mountjoy Prison

Andrew PhelanIndependent.ie

A Mountjoy prison inmate made a false sexual assault complaint against staff in “revenge” for what he thought was a rough search.

Patrick Smith (28) believed he was being targeted for searches and was “extremely cross” when he lied to gardaí and a medical examiner about having been sexually assaulted by an unnamed prison guard.

He was given an extra four months in jail when he admitted the charge at Dublin District Court.

Smith pleaded guilty to knowingly making a false report or statement that an offence had been committed in August last year.

Garda Sergeant Michelle Lynch told Judge Bryan Smyth the accused had complained that an unidentified prison guard sexually assaulted him while he was being searched on suspicion of having a contraband phone on August 23 last year.

An investigation was carried out and Smith repeated the allegation to the forensic medical examiner from the sexual assault treatment unit.

However, witness statements and CCTV footage “completely undermined” his account and when the inconsistencies were put to him, he withdrew the complaint.

Smith had 177 previous convictions for offences including assault, robbery and drug dealing.

He was serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence, due for release in July 2027.

Smith was “extremely cross” at the time he made the complaint, his solicitor said.

He felt he was being targeted for searches when he had done nothing wrong and nothing was found on him.

On the day, it was his third time to be searched in two weeks and it felt like it happened every time he went out on the landing.

“They jumped him and gave him a bit of a going over,” he said.

Smith felt he was “rough handed” but he “went over, above and beyond the truth of what happened”.

He made his statement very soon after and when later asked if he wanted to proceed with the complaint, he said no and “stopped it in its tracks”.

Smith accepted it was an “awful allegation to make against anybody” and he made a “poor enough error of judgment”. ​

The judge said it was a serious matter to make such an allegation.

There was no victim impact statement as nobody had been named in the complaint.

Judge Smyth made the four-month sentence consecutive to Smith’s existing jail term.

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