Prisoner injures garda in bid to escape

A prisoner bolted for freedom at Macroom courthouse but only succeeded in colliding with a member of An Garda Síochána causing the guard to crack his head against a pew in the courtroom.

James McCarney, with addresses at Balmore, Torrance, in Glasgow, and also at Rossmore, Clonakilty, Co Cork, was jailed yesterday for a total of 18 months.

That sentence was imposed on him for assault by resisting a garda in the execution of his duty at Macroom District Court, on February 7, 2018, and concurrent six months for attempting to escape from garda custody at the court on the same date.

Sergeant Michael Kelleher testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday that the accused had been remanded in custody having failed to get released on bail.

McCarney’s reaction to the refusal of bail was to jump out of the jury box where he was sitting. He collided with Garda Will O’Donoghue who was trying to apprehend him.

“Garda O’Donoghue cracked his head off one of the timber benches. Mr McCarney was subdued by a number of other guards,” Sgt Kelleher said.

The sergeant said the injured garda had ongoing head, neck and back injuries and nerve damage in his jaw and on advice from his doctor will be out of work for a number of months, possibly until the end of the summer.

The background to the case in Macroom was a joint garda and customs checkpoint from which McCarney drove away at speed. He will now face sentencing at the district court on charges related to that.

Alan O’Dwyer, defending, said the defendant had a psychiatric difficulty in his family where one relative had a bi-polar disorder and another had schizophrenia.

Mr O’Dwyer said the defendant had since apologised for what he regarded as a moment of madness.

Judge O Donnabhain said the accused suffered an inexplicable fit of excitement in the courthouse on the day.

The judge remarked: “This occurred in one of the few remaining solid courthouses in the country before we go to modern architecture where it will be difficult even to keep the judges in.”


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