Two teenagers who got their first experience of jail when they were remanded in Cork Prison on Friday for numerous breaches of their bail were shocked to be in the prison when an inmate was stabbed to death.
The two teenagers were not present at the scene of the fatal incident but they were in Cork Prison at the time.
Their barristers said the experience was a huge shock for the youngsters and had a salutary effect on them in terms of the future prospect of serving any time in prison.
Brandon Burke, of 33 Ringmahon Ave, Mahon, Cork, and Graham O’Callaghan, of 16 Nutley Ave, Mahon, both pleaded guilty a month ago to a crime escapade carried out with others in the area of Blackrock, Beaumont, Ballinlough, Silverdale, and Browningstown Park and Eglantine Park in Cork. Each of them is now 18.
Earlier this month, they pleaded guilty to one count of robbery from the person, four counts of thefts from cars, and 12 counts of causing criminal damage to cars.
Judge Donagh McDonagh set bail conditions for them that included curfews for them to be home at certain times every night.
However, Detective Garda Niall Hayes testified at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Friday that they had both breached their curfews.
Burke was in breach of his bail on 19 separate occasions. O’Callaghan was in breach 16 times.
The judge remanded them in custody to Cork Prison on Friday until yesterday.
David Fleming, barrister for O’Callaghan, said: “He has had a very long weekend in Cork Prison and it was an eye-opener for him. The traumatic experience in the prison also affected him greatly.”
Ray Boland, for Burke, said: “In Cork Prison a prisoner was killed. Obviously this was a huge shock. He did not witness it but he came to realise the kind of situation he may be facing if he gets a custodial sentence.”
Judge McDonagh said the probation officer for Burke said he was passive and unresponsive and unwilling to be proactive in dealing with his problems, showed no victim empathy, and his only worry was about himself. No report was yet available on O’Callaghan.
Referring to their time in Cork Prison over the past few days, Judge McDonagh said: “I would hope that as a result of the new experiences they have had in their lives some cop-on has dripped through and they realise the enormity of the situation with which they are faced. I hope the few days would get through to them and encourage them to comply with the probation service.”
Turning directly to the accused in the dock yesterday, the judge said: “Strict bail conditions must be adhered to without any deviation. If there is the merest deviation you will be held in custody, no ifs, ands or buts. You will go to jail. Do we understand each other?” The teenagers said they did.
They were released on bail for sentencing on June 11.
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