Friday 22 September 2017

Prisoner lifted female officer 'to humiliate her'

Jonathan Cummins
Jonathan Cummins
Jonathan Cummins

Andrew Phelan

AN inmate at Mountjoy jail grabbed a female prison officer around the waist and lifted her up in an attempt to "humiliate" her and undermine her authority, a court has heard.

Jonathan Cummins (27) was serving a sentence in the prison and "acting the big man in front of other inmates" when he assaulted the officer who was on duty on a landing. Dublin District Court heard he placed her back down on the floor after picking her up and although she was not injured, the incident was an "affront to her dignity as a person".

The case against him was adjourned for gardai to clarify whether another suspended sentence was active at the time.

Cummins, with an address at Weaver's Court, Clondalkin, pleaded guilty to common assault on the officer, Michelle McCallister on February 13 last.

Judge Ann Watkin said it appeared the accused did not intend to injure the victim, but it was an abusive act, particularly by a man towards a woman.

"He was acting the big man in front of other inmates at the expense of the officer," Garda Finbarr Brennan said. "It was to undermine her as an officer."

"It was an attempt to injure her dignity as a person," the judge said. "The affront to her dignity was very serious."

Cummins has 81 previous convictions for offences including assault, obstruction, sale and supply of drugs, possession of weapons, criminal damage, burglary and attempted robbery.

He had been given a five-year suspended sentence in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in February 2012, with 18 months suspended, but it had been backdated to 2011 and the bond was signed in August this year, the court heard.

Judge Watkin said she had to refer the case back to the Circuit Court if the suspended sentence was in operation but Garda Brennan said this had to be verified.

The judge adjourned the case to November 26, with the consent of the defence.

aphelan@herald.ie

Herald

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