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Saturday 10 December 2016

Prison escapee captured after he turns up in court for his own case

Barry Duggan

Published 18/02/2012 | 05:00

A TEENAGER who made a daring prison break earlier this week was back behind bars last night -- after he was found in a courtroom waiting for his case to be called.

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Christopher Curtin (18) boldly strolled into the Circuit Criminal Court in Limerick shortly after noon yesterday.

He was due to be sentenced by Judge Carroll Moran for breaking into a rural pub last year, and appeared in the courtroom for the sentencing.

He sat down in the packed public gallery of the court alongside family members.

But moments later he was noticed by shocked garda officers and legal professionals.

He was then taken from the building by gardai and brought back to Limerick Prison.

When his case was called shortly afterwards, defence barrister Pat Whims said his client was present up to a few minutes earlier.

"In fact he was arrested within the courtroom in the last five minutes. He is being returned to the prison, but the prison officers are making arrangements to have him back in the afternoon," Mr Whims said.

Curtin and another young man had been on the run since Wednesday after they escaped -- with their handcuffs on -- from a garda officer at the entrance to Limerick Prison.

Gardai had been searching for the pair since they sprinted off. The other man -- who is in his 20s -- remains at large.

Curtin was returned to the same court after lunch for sentencing.

Mr Whims said his client came to court knowing he was going to be arrested.

Mr Whims said that between court and prison on Wednesday, Curtin had "absconded from custody".

Curtin and two accomplices broke into Herbert's pub at Sallymount, Castleconnell, Co Limerick, after midnight on May 5 last.

Struggle

Well-known Limerick solicitor Turlough Herbert and his sister were awoken and confronted the burglars in the residential area of the pub.

The burglars were armed with a knife and scissors.

A brief struggle ensued and Mr Herbert was bitten on the hand.

Curtin, who has six previous convictions for motoring offences, ran from the pub after the burglars were disturbed.

Judge Moran sentenced him to two years' imprisonment.

Irish Independent

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