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Female warder pumping blood after 'Joy attack

AN officer at Mountjoy women's prison was left "pumping blood" from her finger and covered in bruises when an inmate went berserk.

Tanya Curtin (20) bit the officer twice and rained kicks on the officer when staff tried to bring her to the medical centre after she hit her head.

A judge issued a bench warrant for Curtin's arrest and sentencing when she failed to appear in Dublin District Court for the hearing of her case.

Curtin, with an address at Railway House, Old Cork Road, Limerick, had denied a charge of assaulting Officer Amanda O'Donnell at the Dochas Centre.

Officer O'Donnell told the court that Curtin's cellmate said Curtin had fallen and banged her head so it was decided to escort her to the health centre.

Curtin did not want to go, and kept saying she was fine. The officer in charge, Dave Miller, talked her around and she walked there. After 45 minutes a nurse officer went to check on her. Curtin became abusive, threatening to self-harm and to strangle herself.

"She made the statement that if we left her there, she was going to come out in a brown box," Officer O'Donnell said.

Bolted

It was decided to take Curtin to a padded cell for her own safety but she resisted, kicking Officer O'Donnell several times in her stomach, legs and arms. It took three officers to try to restrain Curtin.

She then bolted forward and bit Officer O'Donnell on the lower back, leaving red marks. As they reached the padded cells, she made several attempts to bite again, and eventually latched on to Officer O'Donnell's left index finger with her teeth. After she pulled away, Officer O'Donnell noticed her finger was "pumping blood".

Curtin continued to struggle violently in the cell and her clothes had to be cut off her for her own safety. Officer Miller assisted in restraining her, but held onto her legs facing in the opposite direction so only her feet were visible.

Two blankets were placed over her so her body was covered "for her own dignity" and a gown was left for her.

When the nurse officer returned to check on her, she was smearing blood all over the cell door.

Officer O'Donnell said her body was covered in bruises after the assault.

aphelan@herald.ie


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