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Garda killer back where he belongs in high-security jail

GARDA killer Martin McDermott will serve the rest of his sentence in a closed prison, it was confirmed today, just hours after he was handed back across the Border by the PSNI.

McDermott (26) was initially returned to Loughan House open prison in Blacklion, Co Cavan, yesterday, from where he escaped on March 15.

However, he was transferred last night to the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise.

His current sentence is due to run out in 18 months' time; however, this may increase if he is given a consecutive sentence for escaping.

McDermott was handed over to gardai yesterday morning after completing a sentence for assaulting PSNI officers during his re-arrest in Derry in March.


He had been serving a seven-year custodial sentence for manslaughter after driving his car into a garda patrol vehicle in Burt in December 2009, killing Garda Gary McLoughlin (24).

There was uproar in March after McDermott's escape highlighted the fact he had been sent to an open prison just seven months into his sentence.

Garda sources say he will be charged with absconding from Loughan House at a later date and brought before the courts.

An investigation into how McDermott was sent to Loughan House revealed that he had escaped from the same prison before.

The Co Donegal criminal had more than 90 previous convictions, many for violence, theft and dangerous driving.

He was extradited back to the Republic yesterday after completing his sentence in the North.


"As someone who has escaped lawful custody, he will have to serve the rest of his sentence at a closed prison," said one prison service official.

Garda sources say they will seek a consecutive prison sentence when McDermott is formally charged with escaping from custody.