Thursday 22 March 2018

Two inmates soaked prison officer with water from kettle and 7-up

The main gate at Mountjoy
The main gate at Mountjoy

Andrew Phelan

TWO inmates in Mountjoy soaked a prison officer with warm water and 7-Up in an assault outside a cell.

Glen Maguire (27) filled a kettle and Christopher Coakley (24) shook up his soft drink before drenching the officer.

Dublin District Court heard the pair were irate because Coakley was told to leave his friend’s cell after going in to talk to him. Maguire was upset because a friend had been in a car accident.

Both defendants were given three-month suspended sentences when they pleaded guilty to assaulting the prison officer by throwing the liquids at him on December 30 last.

Maguire, of Annaly Road, Cabra, and Coakley from Teeling Way Apartments, East Road, East Wall, had the sentences suspended for two years.

Judge Anthony Halpin remarked that it was “ill-advisable” to give prisoners access to kettles.

Dublin District Court heard the guard, Des Sheridan, was on duty on a landing in the prison when he saw Coakley come in from the yard and go into Maguire’s cell without permission.

He followed him in and told Coakley to leave. Both defendants became aggressive and shouted at Officer Sheridan.

While he was dealing with Coakley outside the cell, Maguire filled a kettle with water and threw it over the officer’s chest.

It was hot but not boiling and he was not harmed, the court heard. He changed clothes and continued to work that day.

“It could have been boiling water for all [the officer] knew,” Judge Halpin said. “The fright that would have given the officer is important.”

Maguire was upset on the day because he had learned a friend had been in a road accident on Christmas Day.

“He got too irate, put the water in the kettle and threw it on the officer,” his defence solicitor Edward Bradbury said.

“He was agitated and there was no intention to throw boiling water on anybody.”

Maguire had 128 previous convictions and had been serving a two-and-a-half year sentence.

“Prison officers are particularly vulnerable in situations such as these,” Judge Halpin said. “It is ill-advisable that prisoners have access to  kettles in their cells.”

He said that prisoners had an obligation to respect prison officers.

The court heard during the incident, Coakley told Officer Sheridan he would “have him”.

He squared up to him and began shaking a bottle of 7-Up before spraying the officer with it.

Coakley had 100 prior convictions and his release date was in 2020.

His solicitor Aine Flynn said Coakley accepted that he had reacted in “the most intemperate way” when told to leave his friend’s cell.

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