Limerick court hears inmate who had phone in cell was keeping in touch with girlfriend

Cian Walsh admitted having a mobile phone in his cell at Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Street

Cian Walsh admitted having a mobile phone in his cell at Limerick Prison, Mulgrave Street

A PRISONER who is serving a lengthy sentence for firearms offences has been fined for having a mobile phone in his cell at Limerick Prison.

Cian Walsh, aged 31, who has an address at Mercier Park, Turner’s Cross in Cork appeared before Limerick District Court after he was charged in relation to an offence almost 18 months ago.

Sergeant John Moloney said the device was seized when his cell was searched by prison officers at around 7.30pm on May 19, 2017.

When questioned about the phone by gardai, Mr Walsh made admissions saying he had it to keep in touch with relatives.

Judge Marian O’Leary was told gardai accepted this and that they are satisifed there was no criminal intent on the part of the defendant.

Solicitor John Herbert said is client, who has more than 20 previous convictions, is “facing a another couple of years in custody” as the Court of Appeal sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment in June.

Mr Herbert said Mr Walsh’s partner had given birth since he first entered custody and that he had the phone to keep in contact with her and other family members.

He said it was difficult for members of Mr Walsh’s family to visit him from Cork while he was being detained at Limerick Prison.

Noting the defendant’s circumstances and his guilty plea, Judge O’Leary imposed a €100 fine with a default penalty of five days’s imprisonment – meaning he will not serve any additional time in prison.

Walsh is serving a sentence in relation to an incident during which a shotgun he had accidentally discharged when he “tripped over the family dog” of a woman he was threatening.

He had pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a firearm and three counts of threatening to kill at two locations in Cork on September 25, 2016.

He received a six year sentence, with two suspended, at Cork Circuit Court but following an appeal by the DPP, this was increased to five years.

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