Monday 22 January 2018

Man jailed for slashing an inmate's face in a juvenile detention centre

Sonya McLean

A MAN who slashed the face of a fellow inmate at a juvenile detention centre because the victim had threatened to "cut him up" has been sentenced to six years.

The court heard that the accused, Jason Kelly (22), whose father was stabbed to death in the family home, was so in fear of Patrick Cawley that he requested a transfer to Mountjoy Prison where a number of his relatives were serving sentences.

The request was denied because he was too young to be moved to that jail.

Kelly of Cloonmore, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing serious harm on August 23, 2010. He has 23 previous convictions which are mainly for road traffic offences.

Garda Barry Brennan told Gerardine Small BL, prosecuting, that Cawley and his brother had been running around the prison yard at St Patrick’s Institution when Kelly and about 15 other prisoners surrounded them.

The youths moved away but Cawley soon felt a stinging sensation on his face and turned around. He noticed Kelly standing in front of him and knew that he had been cut with “some kind of blade”.

Kelly then shouted at the other youths “get him” but no one continued the attack and Cawley went to the staff for assistance.

He was taken by ambulance to the Mater hospital where he received 31 stitches to close a large gash that ran from the bottom of his left eye, underneath his left ear to the back of his head.

Gda Brennan told Judge Martin Nolan that Cawley was released from St Patrick’s shortly after the attack having served his sentence and he has not seen him since. There was no victim impact report for the court.

A medical report concluded that Cawley is likely to have a permanent scar but would otherwise make a full recovery.

Gda Brennan agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that gardai accepted that Kelly did genuinely feel threatened by Cawley, who has previous convictions for threatening and abusive behaviour.

He accepted that Cawley’s threat to “cut him up” brought “back to the forefront of his mind the unfortunate death of his father” and Kelly put in the request to be moved out of St Patrick’s.

Gda Brennan further accepted that Kelly had neither a drink nor a drug addiction and had “kept himself to himself since his release from prison”.

Judge Nolan accepted Cawley was “no angel” and had made threats against Kelly but said what Kelly had done was “grievously wrong” and he would have known the consequences of using such a weapon.

He sentenced him to six years but suspended the final three years on strict conditions.

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