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€10k payout for children at jail brawl

TWO children traumatised when a violent fight broke out between prisoners as they visited their father in Mountjoy Prison have been awarded €10,000 damages each.

Judge Alison Lindsay said in the Circuit Civil Court that the prison authorities should have had a system which would have prevented the fight spreading into the visiting box.

She told barrister Conor Bowman, counsel for Michaela Perry (9) and her older brother Stephen (11) she accepted they had suffered post-traumatic stress as a result of their experience in the visiting rooms.

Mr Bowman told the court the children had visited their father, Stephen Smith, in prison with their mother, Sharon Perry (pictured) in November of 2006.

Ms Perry, of Shanganagh Cliffs, Shankill, Co Dublin, said that two prisoners ran through the room she and her children were in. They were fighting as they passed in a "bloody horror scene" pursued by prison officers.

She said one of the prisoners was bleeding and she and the children, who were terrified and screaming, had pressed themselves back against the wall.

Mr Bowman said medical reports had been agreed between both parties, detailing nightmares, sleeplessness and anxiety symptoms which the children had suffered from following the incident.