A notorious on-the-run Scottish prisoner stabbed himself before he was recaptured in Belfast last night.
Derek Brockwell, 53, from Glasgow was detained by PSNI officers who used a Taser during the operation outside a pub in Belfast city centre.
He has spent the night in hospital after he was arrested and is expected to appear in court this evening
He was being taken to Tallaght Hospital in south Dublin from high security Portlaoise Prison for a medical appointment
One of the prison officers accompanying him was stabbed with a knife in the stomach and underwent emergency surgery for his serious injuries, according to a spokesman for the Irish Prison Service.
Another officer was stabbed in the hand and possibly the face or neck during the incident.
Superintendent Darrin Jones said: “On police approaching him, he produced a knife and proceeded to stab himself in the abdomen.
“To ensure no further injuries were caused to the man or others, police discharged a Taser. He was then taken to hospital for treatment.”
It is believed Brockwell, who was handed 22 life sentences in the UK for armed robbery and had appeared as a wanted man on BBC's Crimewatch show, was picked up after escaping from custody by an awaiting accomplice on a motorbike or in a car which sped away from the scene.
Brockwell was arrested outside the Bridge House bar on Bedford Street in the city centre on suspicion of two counts of robbery and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.
He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. A spokeswoman for the Belfast Health Trust said Brockwell was undergoing surgery for his injuries.
Witnesses said he had been sitting outside the Bridge House pub having a drink when he was approached by several police officers. A Taser was fired.
The serial criminal was two years into a seven-year sentence for armed robbery after he admitted holding up the Bank of Ireland in Blackrock, south Dublin, in October 2012.
He was also convicted of robbing a post office and a bookmakers as well as for firearms offences in the Irish capital.
Brockwell landed in Ireland after failing to return to Kirkham Prison in England, where he was serving life for a series of offences but had been allowed out on day release for a work scheme.
He carried out armed robberies on betting shops in London’s Marylebone and Paddington areas during September and October 1999.
A full report has been ordered into the circumstances around the escape by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.
Ireland’s Prison Officers Association said questions must be asked about why armed gardai were not part of the escort for a “violent and hardened” prisoner.