A LIMERICK man who escaped from custody twice in 12 months absconded to attend his child’s christening, Limerick Court heard this week.
Christopher O’Donnell, aged 25, of Catherine Street pleaded guilty to escaping from lawful custody at the Regional hospital on August 29, 2011.
Last month, O’Donnell was sentenced to six months in prison for escaping from custody outside the gates of Limerick Prison on August 20, 2012.
Sergeant Morgan O’Donoghue said that on August 29, 2011 while detained in prison O’Donnell was taken to the Regional to receive medical treatment.
“He made good his escape from three prison officers. He did not return to Limerick Prison by his own volition,” said Sgt O’Donoghue.
O’Donnell’s solicitor, John Herbert, said at the time his client was serving a 13 month sentence.
“Whilst in custody his wife gave birth to his child. He asked to be released but it was not entertained,” said Mr Herbert.
On this occasion O’Donnell’s child was being christened, said the solicitor.
“He was in the Regional undergoing a small operation. He saw an opportunity and made good his escape. He was arrested six days later. He was in Limerick city when he was re-arrested, he hadn’t left,” said Mr Herbert, who added that O’Donnell had been punished within the prison regime. “For three months he was confined to a strict regime with no privileges,” said Mr Herbert.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly said if a prisoner is taken to hospital it is for medical treatment and not to afford them an opportunity to attend the christening of their children. He handed down a five-month prison sentence.