An inmate of the Midlands Prison who claimed it was not his intention to headbutt a prison guard has been given a ten-month jail sentence for assault causing harm.
At last week’s sitting of Portlaoise District Court, John Joyce, 25, with an address at 27 Moatview Avenue, Coolock, Dublin, was charged with assault causing harm, at the Midlands Prison, on March 8 last.
Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that on March 8 this year, the accused was verbally abusive to prison staff.
He grabbed a prison officer and both men fell down stairs, with the accused headbutting the guard to the mouth leaving him requiring medical attention.
The injured party suffered soft tissue damage to his hand and needed a splint to support it.
The accused is serving a 14-year sentence for aggravated burglary, with a release date in 2022.
Defence, Mr Aonghus McCarthy said that the accused had got a visit on the day bringing him bad news about a relationship between his brother and another person.
His brother was in the same prison and the accused tried to get up the stairs to see him, but the lady in charge of letting people up said no as he was in a heightened state. Another person was then allowed past and the accused became abusive as he felt he was being treated differently.
He acted inappropriately, said defence, but was adamant that he did not intend headbutting the guard. Mr McCarthy said that the back of the accused’s head hit the guard’s lip, but he accepted that he had caused the situation.
Judge Catherine Staines said that prison officers have a very difficult job to do and if prisoners don’t behave it can be very difficult for the staff.
The judge imposed a ten-month sentence.