A MAN who was very determined not to go back to prison - as he had been stabbed 36 times when an inmate - managed to flee the back of a garda van in Mallow after stealing from Tesco.
Patrick Tobin had gone into Tesco in Mallow at 3am on June 12 last, picked up €6.60 worth of goods and walked out. When questioned by gardaí he admitted the theft.
Mr Tobin attended a court sitting in Mallow District Court last Saturday and when he was being put into the back of the Garda van "he managed to escape", Inspector Eddie Golden told Mallow court on Tuesday. No details were given in court just how Mr Tobin had managed to escape from the van.
Inspector Golden said Mr Tobin had 12 previous convictions and had served two previous prison terms for assault.
Solicitor Cathal Lombard said his 22-year-old client had been stabbed 36 times when he was a prisoner at Cork Prison, which has left him "extremely fearful of going back to prison".
"He has an enormous fear of going back to prison and that is why he escaped. He made contact with gardaí and had arranged to be in court today," said Mr Lombard.
Mr Tobin of 28B Ballydaheen, Mallow pleaded guilty to the charge of theft. Mr Lombard said his client had a troubled past but he has now stayed well clear of alcohol and drugs. He said Mr Tobin's partner is pregnant and they are due their first child.
In relation to the charge of theft, Mr Lomabrd said it was "impulsive" and the offence occurred in the early hours of the morning.
For escaping from custody, Judge Kelleher issued a five month suspended sentence for two years. For the charge of theft he fined him €150.
"If you come back before this court you will get five months in prison and as you have this fear of prison then you know exactly what will happen to you," he said.