Sunday 21 April 2019

Manhunt for violent prisoner who escaped from hospital

Stock photo
Stock photo
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A violent prisoner has escaped from a Dublin hospital just weeks after having an appeal over a serious knife attack rejected.

A Garda manhunt was last night continuing for Michael Power (23) after he fled from prison officers while being treated at St James's Hospital.

He is currently serving a partially suspended 10-year prison term for a violent knife attack on a homeless man which left the victim with life-altering injuries.

Gardaí were alerted at around 8am yesterday after Power managed to flee from two prison officers who had escorted him to the hospital.

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) will now be carrying out its own internal investigation to establish the circumstances around the escape.

"The Irish Prison Service can confirm that a prisoner has escaped from lawful custody while on escort to St James's Hospital this morning.

"An Garda Síochána were notified immediately and provided with all the relevant information in relation to the prisoner. The Irish Prison Service is currently investigating the circumstances of the escape," a spokesman said.

Last night gardaí were continuing to carry out searches in the south-inner city and surrounding areas for Power.

He made his way through the hospital and out of the Emergency Department before fleeing the scene.

The Irish Independent has learned that Power had only recently failed in an attempt to have his conviction for the assault on the homeless man quashed.

His case was heard before the Court of Appeal on March 8, where legal representatives for Power made an appeal against his conviction.

In October 2017, he was jailed for 10 years, with 18 months suspended, after being convicted of a horrific knife attack on the homeless man in the city centre.

He sliced his victim's face from the ear to the mouth, which left the man requiring 48 stitches and with permanent scarring.

The homeless man also suffered potentially life-threatening injuries and had to have his spleen removed, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

He will be on lifelong medication.

Power, of Parslickstown Gardens in Mulhuddart, Dublin, was convicted of assault, assault causing serious harm and possessing a knife in Dublin's south-inner city on June 27, 2015.

He has 33 previous convictions and has been in prison since 2015, having been held on remand before his conviction.

The victim had been sitting in a doorway minding his own business when he was subjected to this "unprovoked and vicious" attack.

Power was only 20 when he carried out the attack and was identified by CCTV and a description given by a witness.

He was later arrested in possession of a flick-knife but refused to say anything during his Garda interviews.

Irish Independent

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