Saturday 10 December 2016

Prisoner overdosed on drugs his fiancee smuggled into jail

Andrew Phelan

Published 01/08/2016 | 21:46

Danielle Hayes of Killinarden Estate, Tallaght. Charged with bringing drugs into prison
Danielle Hayes of Killinarden Estate, Tallaght. Charged with bringing drugs into prison

A prison inmate died when he overdosed on drugs his fiancee had smuggled into jail for him.

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Danielle Hayes (27) was engaged to Kevin Byrne (23) when she passed a package of heroin and Valium to him during a visit.

When staff spotted them, Mr Byrne put it in his mouth. He later choked on his own vomit and died in at Wheatfield prison.

A court heard Hayes had to live "every day of her life" knowing her actions "caused the death of her fiance".

Hayes pleaded guilty to unlawfully conveying drugs into the jail in west Dublin on December 23, 2014.

Mr Byrne was found unresponsive and pronounced dead the following day.

Judge David McHugh adjourned the case for a pre-sentence probation report.

Garda Thomas Doyle told Blanchardstown District Court the accused went to the prison to visit her fiance at 10.50am. During that visit, at around 11.20am Hayes was seen passing a package to Mr Byrne.

He had the package in his hand when staff intervened and as they approached, he put it in his mouth.

PACKAGE

Mr Byrne was removed and asked to hand it over, but he denied that he had received any package. He was taken to a special observation cell, while Hayes left the prison.

The following morning, December 24, Mr Byrne was found unresponsive in the cell by prison staff at 8.10am. Medical assistance was summoned and he was later pronounced dead.

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy found that the cause of death was inhalation of gastric contents caused by taking heroin and diazepam.

Hayes, of Killinarden Estate, Tallaght, later went to Ronanstown Garda Station and made a voluntary statement outlining her relationship with Mr Byrne.

"This is a very serious charge, compounded by the fact that her actions caused the death of her fiance," defence barrister Jennifer Jackson said. "She has to live with that every day of her life."

The court heard the deceased's family was still in contact with Hayes and were "very understanding of what occurred".

Judge McHugh adjourned the case for a probation report and noted that a letter he had read referred to a threat which there had been to the deceased's life.

He adjourned the case to a date in September.

Herald

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