Court - 'Mini riot' and threats to kill in Portlaoise Prison

Serious attack

Court - 'Mini riot' and threats to kill in Portlaoise Prison

An inmate of Portlaoise Prison who threatened to cut a prison officer’s throat and later threatened to ram the officer’s teeth down his throat has been told he may get a suspended sentence if he complies with all court requirements between now and June.

Ryan Kelly, Limerick, was convicted of making threats to kill a prison officer, at Portlaoise Prison on two dates in 2014.

On February 10, 2014, the accused asked to speak to the chief officer and was told by the prison officer that he would see him soon, at which point he “freaked out” and said he would cut the prison officer’s “f**king throat”.

On February 19, Kelly became very aggressive for no reason at all and threatened the officer by saying he would ram his teeth down his throat. Kelly repeated this threat when another prison officer spoke to him.

There was also a charge of criminal damage, relating to the accused’s part in what Judge Keenan Johnson called “a mini riot” at Portlaoise Prison on January 26, 2014.

The accused had 46 previous convictions.

The case came before Portlaoise Circuit Court a number of times last year, each time adjourned for the court to monitor the accused’s progress in custody.

When the matter returned to the circuit court last week, Judge Johnson said that the offences represent “a serious attack on the governance of the prison.”

The judge said that the accused has indicated to a probation officer that when released he intends to live outside Limerick city.

“I am absolutely convinced that if Mr Kelly goes back to Limerick, he will end up in trouble and back in prison within a very short period of time,” he said.

For the criminal damage, Judge Johnson imposed 15 months in prison, and said he would suspend the balance of this from June 13 on strict conditions.

In relation to the threats to kill, Judge Johnson said he would impose three years and six months, but said he would suspend this if, by June 13, the accused had maintained a misconduct free record he prison; he refrain from alcohol and drugs; he engage with counselling; he secure a residential treatment place for drug addiction; undertake therapy for his anger issues; and put in place plans for employment for after his release.

The matter was put back to June 13 for finalisation.