Tuesday 23 October 2018

Convicted killer will not serve extra time for slashing fellow prisoner's face

Court heard he was "very apologetic about it”

Wheatfield Prison
Wheatfield Prison

Isabel Hayes

A convicted killer who is serving a 15-year sentence for manslaughter will not serve additional time for slashing a fellow prisoner in the face.

Judge Karen O'Connor sentenced Michael Kinsella (25) to three years' imprisonment today for assaulting a prisoner at Wheatfield Prison on April 13, 2012.

However, she ordered the sentence to run concurrently to the 15-year sentence he is serving for the 2011 manslaughter of Adil Essahli in Dublin.

Mr Essalhi suffered 50 stab and chop wounds before his killers tried to set fire to his body and then dumped it in a ditch in Tyrrelstown. Kinsella pleaded guilty to manslaughter, while his uncle, Wayne Kinsella, was convicted of murder in 2012.

Kinsella, with an address in Ardkeen, Cavan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of assault causing harm to a fellow inmate.

Garda Kevin Mullahy told Marie Torrens BL, prosecuting, that Kinsella slashed the victim's face with an unidentified weapon. There was no CCTV footage of the incident but a witness reported seeing it happen.

The victim was taken to hospital where he received nine stitches. He has since been released from prison.

In a victim impact report handed up to court, the victim said he “sometimes feels like killing himself when he looks at the scar”. He said the assault caused him great upset and the scar was a “constant reminder of the traumatic, painful event he suffered”.

Kinsella has 43 previous convictions, including firearm offences, public order and road traffic offences.

Sandra Frayne BL, defending, said her client had been in custody for most of his life. “He has been in nearly every prison in this country,” she told the court.

She said Kinsella came from a troubled background and had severe educational deficits. He was “functionally illiterate”, the court heard.

Kinsella, who is not due for release until 2025, has spent much of his time in custody in 23-hour lock-up for his own protection, the court heard. Ms Frayne said he was now doing well in prison and had taken English, boxing, yoga and cooking courses, as well as crime awareness.

In relation to the offence, Ms Frayne said Kinsella had been fighting with the victim, who he thought was responsible for a “certain type of crime”.

“He's very apologetic about it,” she said.

Judge O'Connor noted it was a very serious offence that occurred in a prison environment. “This is unacceptable behaviour in a prison which puts other persons at risk,” she said.

But she noted Kinsella was still a young man who was using his time in prison productively. She noted the court was not bound to impose a consecutive sentence and she ordered that the three-year-sentence run concurrently.

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