Thursday 14 December 2017

Female prisoner threw boiling water at prison officers and urinated on floor

Mullin, of Gandon Close, Fairgreen Village, Portlaoise, is charged with assault causing harm to three officers at Mountjoy Jail's Dochas Centre last September. Stock Image
Mullin, of Gandon Close, Fairgreen Village, Portlaoise, is charged with assault causing harm to three officers at Mountjoy Jail's Dochas Centre last September. Stock Image

A female prisoner scalded three guards when she threw a cup of boiling water over them after threatening to scald herself, a court was told.

In a separate incident, Eileen Mullin (39) doused a fourth prison officer with a cup of hot tea.

Judge Anthony Halpin said prisons should look at situations where people have access to boiling water "because it can be used as a weapon".

Mullin, of Gandon Close, Fairgreen Village, Portlaoise, is charged with assault causing harm to three officers at Mountjoy Jail's Dochas Centre last September 4.

She is also charged with common assault on a fourth officer last December 2.

In the first incident, Mullin was in her cell, threatening to scald herself, prison officer Stephanie Caufield told Dublin District Court.

She said she and colleagues tried to "talk her down" and get the cup away from her.

Despite their best efforts, Mullin threw the water over three of them. A medical orderly applied burn gel to their scalds, but there were no permanent injuries.

Urinate

In the December assault, officer Ailbhe McNamara said she was dealing with another prisoner when Mullin demanded she open her cell.

Officer McNamara told her she would do so in a few minutes. Mullin subsequently "caused a bit of a ruckus and decided to urinate on the floor".

She was taken back to her cell, but after 15 minutes walked into the guards' office and threw a cup of hot tea at Officer McNamara.

Judge Anthony Halpin said the charges were serious and prisons would have to look at the system of allowing inmates access to boiling water "to reduce the number of incidents of this type".

Defence solicitor Caroline Egan said her client wanted the case dealt with immediately, but that it would take some time and that there were reports she wanted the judge to read.

Judge Halpin said he did not want to hear a summary of the reports because that might not give a "full flavour of any underlying issues which I suspect are here".

He adjourned the case to next month for full facts, mitigation and victim impact reports.

"I will deal with all matters on the next occasion," he said.

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