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10 Aug 2022

Judge praises 'brave' prison officer who was kicked and punched in fight intervention

Judge praises 'brave' prison officer who was kicked and punched in fight intervention

A prisoner charged with assault of a Prisoner Officer at the Midlands Prison received a five month sentence at Portlaoise district court last Thursday.

Martin Kelly (34) of 21 Church Avenue, Castlecomer appeared via videolink.

Sgt JJ Kirby told the court that on June 22, 2019 at the Midlands Prison Portlaoise at 11am Prison Officer Scales intervened in a fight between a number of prisoners.

Kicks and punches were thrown at him. Martin Kelly’s co-accused had pleaded guilty and paid €500 in compensation.

A victim impact report was available to the court.

Defence solicitor Barry Fitzgerald said that Mr Kelly was serving a sentence for burglary.

He was a 34-year old man who had addiction issues.

He said that Officer Scales was not the intended target and acknowledged that the experience had been traumatic for the injured party.

Mr Kelly had no compensation to offer.

Judge Catherine Staines noted that Officer Scales had been very brave.

He had suffered kicks and punches which were still affecting him.

She sentenced Mr Kelly to five months in the Midlands Prison, taking into account his guilty plea and giving him one month credit for it.

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