Sunday 26 March 2017

New inmate to serve his time behind bars with infamous wife killers

Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

JAILED advertising producer Eamonn Lillis last night joined the ranks of other infamous wife killers at Dublin's Wheatfield Prison.

The west Dublin jail was already home to Brian Kearney, the electrical contractor who strangled his hotelier wife Siobhan in 2007 and tried to make it look like suicide.

Another high-profile inmate committed to the facility was Anton Mulder, the South African who strangled his wife, Coleen, in 2006.

A more recent addition to the prison's population was insurance worker David Bourke, who stabbed his wife Jean Gilbert to death after learning she planned to leave him for an English musician. He was jailed less than a year ago.

But while those three inmates are serving life sentences for murdering their spouses, Lillis is likely to be free in a little over five years' time after being found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Lillis (52) -- now known as Prisoner 55511 -- was brought to Mountjoy Jail after he was sentenced yesterday, but within hours was transferred to Wheatfield.

Before being shown to his cell, he had to go through the process of handing over any personal items and being medically assessed. This involved the prison's medical staff asking him questions about his medical history and any requirements he might have.

He spent last night in a single cell in a drug-free unit in the prison and was placed on suicide watch, which is standard procedure for newly convicted inmates who have committed serious crimes.

Lillis was closely observed by prison officers throughout the night, being looked in on every 15 minutes.

Deflated

Prison insiders said Lillis appeared "deflated" last night and did not engage in conversations with warders.

He is likely to be kept on his own for a settling-in period, after which he may have to share with another inmate.

Although no decision has been made yet, there is speculation he will end up being housed in the same unit as Kearney, a landing for "at-risk" inmates. This would mean he would be kept apart from serious gangland criminals and sex offenders.

Around one-fifth of the jail's 430 inmates are sex offenders. It also houses several gangland figures, including members of the feuding Limerick gangs.

Lillis is set to meet the prison's governor, John Sugrue, or one of his deputies over the next few days. This is a regular practice for new inmates and is used to familiarise them with the rules of the prison.

Within a few weeks, Lillis can expect to be assigned a job within the prison, such as in the kitchen, metal shop or laundry. He can also opt to attend educational classes.

A typical day at the prison sees inmates leaving their cells at 8.15am for a morning shower. They then get their breakfast before returning to their cells, where they stay until 9.15am. Then prisoners either attend a job, workshop or classes.

They collect their dinner shortly after midday and it is eaten in their cell. Prisoners typically return to their job or classes after 2pm.

At 4pm, inmates have a recreational period. Afterwards, they collect their supper and return to their cells.

The cells are locked for the night at around 8pm.

Irish Independent

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