AN INMATE at Limerick Prison who slashed a prison officer in the neck with a broken CD is facing the prospect of a three-year sentence, a judge has warned.
Damien Quinn, aged 32, of O’Malley Park, Southill admitted assaulting the prison officer while trying to escape from custody at the then Mid Western Regional Hospital almost two years ago.
During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda Paul Crowley said the defendant, who was serving a ten year sentence for firearms offences, was admitted to hospital on the evening of October 13, 2012 after he was found unresponsive in his cell.
Limerick Circuit Court was told after being discharged by doctors at around 7.30am the following day, the defendant feigned illness as he was being transported back to prison.
Det Garda Crowley said after he collapsed, doctors examined Quinn and confirmed there was nothing wrong with him.
The defendant, who was wearing boxer shorts and a hospital gown, was then brought to a rear entrance of the hospital handcuffed to a prison officer.
Judge Carroll Moran was told as a prison van arrived to transport him back to Limerick Prison, he produced a broken CD and put it up to the neck of the prison officer.
Det Garda Crowley said a brief struggle then took place during which Quinn jumped over a railing and attempted to pull the prison officer over with him.
While the prison officer sustained scratches and abrasions to his neck and bruising to his abdomen, he did not require treatment in hospital following the incident.
Quinn made admissions to the prison governor the following day and lost all privileges for two months.
He was also transferred to the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise.
Det Garda Crowley told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, the prison officer, who is aged in his mid-30s, was traumatised but has since recovered from his injuries.
Mark Nicholas BL, defending, said his client has spent most of his adult life in prison and had “flipped” as he suffered a panic attack on the day.
He said Quinn had not intended assaulting anyone on the day and he described the attempted escape as “hopeless”.
Mr Nicholas said his client had “misbehaved disgracefully” and had nobody to blame but himself.
He added Quinn, who suffers from a “generalised anxiety disorder”, is on medication but has to come out of prison sometime.
Adjourning sentence until October 31, next, Judge Moran said the the appropriate sentence is three years imprisonment.
However, due to submissions made by Mr Nicholas he requested that a probation report be prepared in relation to the defendant.