Thursday 14 December 2017

Prisoner headbutted officer because his new cell did not have a TV

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Brion Hoban

A man convicted of headbutting a prison officer because his new prison cell did not have a television said he was “a big teddy bear at the end of the day”.

Glen Conroy (27), formerly of The Kybe, Skerries, Co Dublin, was found guilty by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury today following a three day trial, of assaulting the prison officer causing him harm at Mountjoy Prison on March 20, 2013.

During the trial prison officer P Brady told Eilis Brennan BL, prosecuting, that Conroy was moved to a new cell without a TV. Conroy asked why there was no TV and Mr Brady told him one would be brought.

He said Conroy suddenly headbutted him in the face and punched him in the head. Conroy was subdued and restrained by three other prison officers.

Aidan McCarthy BL, defending, put it to officer Brady that he had made up the incident and that had Conroy headbutted him, the accused’s large size would have inflicted more serious injuries on him than he said he sustained.

"You would be knocked back into the middle of next week,” said Mr McCarthy.

Conroy told Mr McCarthy during his evidence that Mr Brady and two other prison officers had in fact launched an unprovoked attack him.

Conroy claimed that prison officer P Laverty had grabbed Conroy’s testicles, swept his feet from beneath him and put him face forward onto the ground during the attack Conroy claimed occurred.

Mr Laverty, giving evidence during the trial, rejected this version of events and said Conroy had headbutted Mr Brady. He said that he was able to put Conroy on the ground by catching him by the arm and using inward rotation to bring him down.

During cross-examination Conroy told Ms Brennan that he had not made a complaint about the assault he alleged had taken place that day .

“If you make a complaint, it just gets ripped up and thrown in the bin,” Conroy said. He later said that he thought the prison officers “knew what they were up to” regarding the incident.

Ms Brennan asked Conroy if he thought it was odd Mr Brady would push him due to Conroy being much larger than him He replied that his size had little to do with things as he was “a big teddy bear.”

Assistant-Governor Malcolm O’Sullivan, of Mountjoy Prison, told Ms Brennan he had carried out a disciplinary hearing on March 23rd 2013 regarding the incident. He said a report was read out to Conroy regarding the alleged headbutt and Conroy was asked if it was true.

“Yes it is true,” said Conroy, according to Assistant-Governor O’Sullivan, and Conroy signed the report. Conroy lost his privileges in prison for a period of 56 days.

Assistant-Governor O’Sullivan told Ms Brennan during his evidence that the original report read out to Conroy could not be located and that he had never lost a report of that kind before.

Conroy said that Assistant-Governor O’Sullivan had fabricated the story and no such disciplinary hearing had taken place, a version of events which Assistant-Governor O’Sullivan denied.

Prison Chief-Officer Martin Galgey told Ms Brennan that he entered the report into the prison database on the same day Assistant-Governor O’Sullivan said the disciplinary hearing took place.

Judge Martin Nolan adjourned the case for sentencing on July 26 of this year and remanded Conroy in custody.

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