Tuesday 25 June 2019

Prisoner known as 'Spiderman' falls 40ft while collecting drugs from roof

Cloverhill Prison in west Dublin
Cloverhill Prison in west Dublin

Pat O'Connell

A prisoner dubbed ‘Spider-Man’ by fellow inmates because he has repeatedly climbed on to the roof of different jails to collect drug parcels – has fallen 40 feet and broken at least three different bones during his latest escapade.

The convict, who cannot be named as he is currently before the courts on serious charges, fell from the roof of the S Block of Cloverhill Prison in the early hours of Tuesday morning, following a 10-hour stand-off with staff.

Sources confirmed to the Sunday World how the 26-year-old climbed on to the roof of the F Block, adjacent to a recreation area in the prison, at 3.30pm on Monday to retrieve parcels of uncollected drugs from the roof.

After being spotted by officers, the inmate refused to come down and is believed to have begun ingesting various parcels of unidentified drugs.

Sources say officers repeatedly pleaded with the inmate to come down before negotiators were brought in with a view to securing his safe descent.

As the 10-hour drama continued, a number of officers climbed on to the roof in a bid to get to the inmate, only for him to threaten that he would throw himself off the roof if they came too close.

Ultimately the inmate did come down, but did so by plummeting on to a grass area beneath the roof after losing his footing at 1.30am in the morning.

The inmate was rushed to hospital, where he remains after sustaining at least three broken bones.

Previously, the same inmate was responsible for sparking a major security alert in Mountjoy Prison when he climbed on to the roof of the north inner city Dublin jail to collect drugs that were thrown up on to security netting.

On that occasion the inmate also “consumed drugs that had been dropped on the roof during the stand-off”.

The inmate previously served a three-and-a-half year sentence for “producing an article” and has been locked up since last year.

He has multiple previous convictions.

Both Mountjoy and Cloverhill have in recent years erected expensive systems of netting around its walls in a bid to prevent drugs being thrown into the exercise yard.

Despite such measures, drugs do get into prisons, with dealers using inventive methods to bypass security measures.

In June of 2014, dozens of prisoners were “left like zombies” after consuming narcotics from a drone that crash-landed in Wheatfield Prison in west Dublin.

The majority of drugs that were on the €2,000 drone made it into the jail after it came down in an exercise yard. The drone got caught on anti-helicopter wires, put in place to prevent any airborne escape attempts using larger aircraft.

Sources yesterday confirmed that criminals are using ever more inventive methods of getting drugs into Irish prisons, but they said that every effort is being made to combat this.

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