Dangerous prisoner charged with assault and spitting blood

Dangerous prisoner charged with assault and spitting blood

An inmate of Portlaoise Prison who has been described over the years as Ireland’s most dangerous prisoner has been charged with assaults and criminal damage.

Leon Wright, originally from Dublin but now with an address at Portlaoise Prison, was charged with production of an article with intent to cause injury; spitting or spraying blood onto another person; criminal damage; and assault with intent to cause harm, at Portlaoise Prison, on April 1, 2018.

The accused was brought into the court last Thursday, May 24, accompanied by five Control and Restraint officers armed with shields and batons.

A book of evidence was served on the accused at last week’s court. Sgt JJ Kirby said the DPP had directed the accused be returned for trial at Portlaoise Circuit Court on June 28 next.

The accused can also be sent forward to the circuit court on a signed plea of guilty.

In a separate incident, the accused was also charged with assault, at Portlaoise Prison in January, 2017.

Defence, Ms Jenny McKeever asked that this summary charge of a section 2 assault be struck out against the accused, as the date of the alleged offence was January, 2017, and the assault charge must be prefered within six months of the alleged offence.

Judge Staines said that it was outside the time for the assault charge to be brought against the accused, however she agreed to adjourn the case to allow the State to make submissions.

This matter was adjourned to Portlaoise District Court on June 21, to be conducted via videolink.

Ms McKeever also requested a second counsel in the case, as one of the charges against the accused carried a maximum of ten years in jail.

Judge Staines granted second counsel in the case.