Man who tried to murder teenager has full sentence activated after violent prison conduct

Man who tried to murder teenager has full sentence activated after violent prison conduct

The court has previously heard that Michael Corbett has assaulted other prisoners in Mountjoy Prison, including attacking one with a hot kettle. Picture: iStock

A man who tried to murder a teenager at a popular Dublin hiking spot has had the six-year suspended part of his sentence activated after a series of violent incidents while in prison on other charges.

Mr Justice Michael White said that a psychiatric report on Micheal Corbett, 30, showed that he is at risk of future violence and added: "It is a situation that will confront society again when Mr Corbett is released." 

The court has previously heard that Corbett has assaulted other prisoners in Mountjoy Prison, including attacking one with a hot kettle.

The judge had originally imposed a nine-year sentence with six years suspended for the attempted murder of the 17-year-old on June 27, 2016 at the Hellfire Club on Montpelier Hill in Dublin. 

The victim, who is not named because he was a minor at the time, suffered a four-inch stab wound to the chest and Corbett struck another teenager on the head with a piece of timber. Corbett pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Today at the Central Criminal Court Mr Justice White activated the six-year suspended portion of the sentence meaning Corbett will serve a total of nine years starting from June 27, 2016 when he first went into custody in relation to the attempted murder.

Mr Justice White said he had been given a comprehensive psychiatric report which detailed Corbett's substance abuse while in custody and his history of violence towards his carers and fellow inmates. 

The judge said he was particularly concerned that the report stated Corbett is at risk of not adhering to treatment for his psychotic illness when he is released. 

While Mr Justice White said he didn't want to use prison "as a repository for people with serious psychiatric or psychotic problems," the risks in this case were such that he had to take a "very serious view of the behaviour of Mr Corbett."

The judge said he had hoped to use the suspended sentence to manage Corbett's psychosis in a way that would be beneficial to him and to society. 

But, he said, that is no longer possible and he has "no choice but to activate the sentence of nine years for the attempted murder."

Following the assault at the Hellfire Club Corbett, a father of one with a previous address in Raheny, became an in-patient at the Central Mental Hospital (CMH). 

While there he attacked nurse Declan Curtin on October 6, 2016. Staff were escorting Corbett to an exercise period when he asked to use the toilet. When Mr Curtin went in after him Corbett used a sock to try to strangle the nurse. 

Judge Melanie Greally at the Circuit Court imposed a five-year sentence on Corbett and suspended the final two-and-a-half years for 15 years on strict conditions. 

These conditions include that he remain under the supervision of the Probation Service for the entire 15-year period and that he live at an address agreed with the gardaí and Probation Service.

In July 2018, Corbett was released from the attempted murder sentence, having served less than three years but he remained in custody for the assault on the nurse. 

He was due for release on that charge next month but at a previous hearing counsel for the State Mr Fergal Foley BL detailed the acts of violence carried out by Corbett while in custody and asked for a psychiatric report to be furnished to the court.

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