Three-year sentence for St Patrick's inmate

The final inmate in a group of six who took part in a St. Stephen's Day riot at St Patrick's Institution in which four prison officers were injured has received a three-year sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The final inmate in a group of six who took part in a St. Stephen's Day riot at St Patrick's Institution in which four prison officers were injured has received a three-year sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Judge Patricia Ryan had adjourned the case of Jonathan Donovan (aged 23), O'Devaney Gardens, Dublin 7 last week after handing down two and three year sentences to the other five.

She suspended the final year of all the terms due to the young age of the men and the punishment they already received while in St Patrick's.

They are: Leonard Dumbrell (aged 20) Emmet Road, Inchicore; Charlie Darcy (aged 19) Crumlin Park, Crumlin; Jason Brady (aged 22) Moatview Avenue, Priorswood; Noel Hudson (aged 22) Sean O'Casey Avenue, and Gary Hanly (aged 19) North Great Clarence Street, both Dublin 1.

They pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder at the centre on December 26, 2005.

The six men have 305 convictions between them with Dumbrell alone having 97, including seven for assault.

Judge Ryan said the violent nature of Darcy and Hudson's role in the riot warranted a three year sentence while Dumbrell, Brady and Hanly played a smaller role and received two years each.

Following the riot all inmates lost remission on their sentences and privileges such as visits and exercise while some were placed in 23-hour solitary confinement.

Detective Garda Terence McHugh told prosecuting counsel, Ms Mary Rose Gearty BL, that the riot started after inmates were spotted interfering with a fence in the exercise yard of one of the Institution's four divisions.

He said there were a large number of inmates involved in the riot but prison officers were only able to positively identify the six before the court.

Donovan was observed throwing a garment onto the razor fence and setting it alight as Dumbrell pulled down metal goal posts in the recreational area.

Detective Garda McHugh said staff then entered to clear the yard as more items were set alight and inmates became agitated and started to attack them.

Hudson struck a prison officer, pushing his glasses into his eyes. Dumbrell assaulted another prison officer as he was trying to restrain another inmate. Donovan punched a female prison officer in the face as she tried to remove another inmate.

Garda McHugh said Brady pushed inmates who were returning peaceably to their cells into the path of a prison officer and pushed another officer to ground where he was kicked and punched by other inmates.

Hanly roared and shouted at other inmates to "get the screws" and told a prison officer "I will f***ing kill you" while he was being taken back to cell.

Detective Garda McHugh said four prison officers were injured and three had been hospitalised as a result of the riot.

Garda McHugh agreed with defence counsel that all the men had been subject to disciplinary proceedings within the institution and had lost remission on their sentences and privileges such as visits and exercise.

Mr Sean Gillane BL, defending Darcy, referred to the victim impact report of one of the injured prison officers which outlined factors such as the age profile of the inmates, boredom and the drug problem in the Institution as contributing factors giving rise to the incident.

Mr Gillane said Darcy had a "troubled upbringing" within a large family, was sorry for his involvement and was anxious to put his offending behind him.

Mr John Byrne BL, defending Hanly, highlighted a European Committee for the Prevention of Torture report which found there had been insufficient prison officers on duty at the time.

Mr Byrne said Hanly had left school at 14 and had no work history or qualifications but had taken "a strong personal stance" against drugs and alcohol.

Mr Damien Colgan BL, defending Dumbrell, said he had been "out of his head" on tablets but took full responsibility for assaulting a prison officer. He had a difficult upbringing and asked the court to be lenient as possible.

Mr Derek Cooney BL, defending Donovan, said he had not been in the institution long before the riot and remembered little, apart from waking up in a padded cell the next morning, because he had taken a large amount of alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine.

Mr Cooney said his client's mother had abandoned the family while he was small and he had been passed around relatives. He began abusing heroin at 14 and had been in every young offender's institution in the country.

Ms Marie Torrens BL, defending Hudson, said he wished to apologise to the prison officer he assaulted. She said he had been "in one institution or another since the age of 12" after beginning to experiment with drugs aged about ten. He had been left in the care of his alcoholic father following the death of his mother.

Mr Breffni Gordon BL, defending Brady, said he regretted his involvement but had been simply involved in pushing and no injuries had been caused by him. He had since attempted to sit his Leaving Certificate in prison but had been too unsettled by this matter to study.

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