Prisoner slapped officer across face

A prisoner yesterday had four months jail added to his sentence after assaulting a prison officer with a slap across the face.

Judge Con O’Leary refused an application to make the sentence concurrent with a long sentence being served by the prisoner.

“If you assault a prison officer you have to expect a consecutive sentence,” the judge said.

“Otherwise prisoners could assault prison officers every day without an expectation of having their time in prison extended.”

James Cash, of 50 Cherrywood Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, was serving six years for burglaries when the assault was committed on January 20 at Cork Prison.

William Bulman, defending, asked if the sentence could be made concurrent given the lengthy sentence being served. Cash had a sentence of seven years with the last year suspended.

The judge refused the bid and made the four-month sentence consecutive.

Inspector Mary King told Cork District Court the offence occurred on a landing at Cork Prison where Cash hit prison officer Brendan McGrath across the face.

The officer was not physically injured. He made a complaint to gardaí who prosecuted the case.

Mr Bulman said in mitigation the defendant pleaded guilty, apologised, and was also punished within the prison system in that he lost all privileges for 42 days.

The defendant also ended up being transferred from Cork Prison to Mountjoy as a result of the assault.

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