Thursday 22 February 2018

Three prison officers bitten during incident with violent rapist

Lovemore Dube Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts
Lovemore Dube Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Cork Courts

Conor Feehan and Ralph Riegel

Four prison officers were injured - one of whom suffered a bite through to the bone - after a confrontation with a violent rapist in the Midlands Prison on Tuesday.

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) and gardaí are now investigating an incident at the Midlands Prison on Tuesday evening when four staff were injured while dealing with Lovemore Dube (28).

Dube, a Zimbabwean national with addresses in Limerick and Cork, received a seven-year prison sentence for the brutal 2012 rape of a middle-aged woman.

The late Mr Justice Paul Carney told the Central Criminal Court that Dube's attack on the woman in Cork was "disturbing, violent and insulting."

His victim described him as "evil".

The trial also heard that the woman had to be tested for HIV and hepatitis, with both tests returning negative results.

It is understood that the prison confrontation broke out when Dube presented himself at the medical centre and then demanded prescribed medications.

However, the medications were not due to be given at that time and Dube was informed he would receive them later as scheduled.

He then refused to leave the area.

A number of prison officers attempted to persuade him to return to his cell area before he had to be physically restrained when he became agitated.

During the subsequent confrontation, four prison staff were injured.

Three suffered bite marks.

One officer was very badly bitten with the gash exposing part of his arm bone. A fourth officer sustained a broken finger.

All four were taken for hospital treatment in Portlaoise and underwent precautionary blood tests because they were bitten.

The IPS confirmed that an incident occurred at the Midlands Prison and that internal and Garda investigations are now under way.

Irish Prison Officers Association (IPOA) official Jim Mitchell said it was a very serious incident. "This highlights again the dangerous and difficult job that we do every day," he said.

Dube is a Zimbabwean who travelled on a South African passport to Ireland in 2005.

He is scheduled to be released from prison in 2017.

He tricked his way into the victim's home on July 23, 2012, after pretending he was her partner. Dube only stopped sexually assaulting the woman when she asked how he would feel about such brutal treatment of his own mother or sister.

Irish Independent

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