Sunday 17 November 2019

Knife in fatal prison attack was used seconds earlier to prepare apple tart

Graham Johnson, who was murdered in a prison kitchen
Graham Johnson, who was murdered in a prison kitchen

Ralph Riegel

The weapon involved in the fatal stabbing of an inmate in Cork Prison had been used by the deceased seconds earlier in the preparation of an apple tart in the jail's kitchen.

Three separate investigations are currently under way into the fatal attack on Graham Johnson (41) in Cork Prison at 5pm on May 16.

Mr Johnson suffered a fatal stab wound to his chest before prison staff were able to intervene and separate him from his assailant.

Mr Johnson was subjected to the unprovoked assault after a minor disagreement earlier about a TV remote control and whether horse-racing or Steven Gerrard's last match at Anfield for Liverpool should be switched on.

The victim - who was serving a four-year sentence for theft - was scheduled to be released in just four weeks, having completed his sentence at Cork Prison.


Mr Johnson, who was from Bandon in west Cork, had told prison officials he planned to rebuild his life having received help for a serious gambling problem while in custody.

The attack was immediately stopped by brave Cork Prison staff - but not before Mr Johnson had sustained critical injuries. The entire incident lasted only a matter of seconds.

Both prisoners were working near the kitchens as they had earned special privileges due to good behaviour while in custody.

Mr Johnson had just finished preparing an apple pie for the evening prison meal and had left the knife he had used on a countertop.

This was grabbed and used by his assailant.

The knife is undergoing garda forensic tests and Gardaí arrested a 30-year-old man last Friday for questioning in relation to the stabbing.

He was questioned for 24 hours at Mayfield Garda Station before being released without charge and returned to a high-security prison isolation unit.

A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Mr Johnson died in Cork Prison before he could be transferred by ambulance to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

He suffered from a significant chest injury as well as major blood loss.

Irish Independent

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