18 Aug 2022

Prison inmate refused 'an hour's' bail

Prison inmate refused 'an hour's' bail

A Midlands Prison inmate who is facing charges for assaulting another inmate leaving multiple broken bones, has been refused “even an hour’s bail” to attend an assessment for addiction treatment.

James Heffernan was in Portlaoise District Court this week facing several charges.

His solicitor Aonghus McCarthy told Judge Catherine Staines that a week previously in court when the defendant faced “a suite of prosecutions” she had remanded his client in custody but with consent to bail if he got treatment for an addiction.

However, an assessment must be done in person to get treatment, the solicitor said.

“There seems to be a barrier to assessment because he is inside,” he said.

He asked for one day’s bail or even six hours “not dissimilar to compassionate bail”.

“We have no difficulty with him going there in handcuffs,” he said.

However Garda Sergeant JJ Kirby said “we would be strenuously objecting to any bail, six hours, two hours or one hour,” he said.

He was asked to read out the facts of a medical report on the victim.

“The injured party was assaulted in Midlands Prison. He suffered nine broken ribs, a broken jaw, three broken teeth and a broken eardrum,” Sgt Kirby said.

In defence, Mr McCarthy said that a number of people were involved in the assault.

Judge Staines refused jurisdiction.

“These injuries are too serious. I was told that he had a place, that was incorrect.

“I am satisfied that if released he will continue to commit serious crime,” she said.

“He did have a place but Covid put the kibosh on it,” the solicitor said.

The defendant was remanded in custody to be dealt with at a special sitting in Tullamore court on July 30.

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