Prisoner threw bucket of excrement over prison officer

by Padraig Conlon

A prisoner who threw a bucket of excrement over a prison officer has had his stay in prison prolonged by two months.

Ian Quinn (38) of St Aongus Park, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting a peace officer in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin 7, on January 30, 2019.

Garda David Graham told Karl Finnegan BL, prosecuting, that Officer Colin Ryan knew the accused and had spoken with him earlier that morning.

Gda Graham said that after lunch, Officer Ryan was walking across a prison landing when the cell doors opened. Over his shoulder he noticed someone running towards him and saw Quinn approaching with a bucket in hand.

Quinn threw the contents of the bucket into Officer Ryan’s face and over his uniform. Officer Ryan initially thought the contents might be boiling water, but after a few seconds he realised it was excrement.

The excrement went into his mouth, his eyes, his boots and his radio. After throwing the excrement, Quinn ran back to his cell.

All of Officer Ryan’s equipment had to be thrown out. He was traumatised by the incident, he did not know where the excrement came from or if it carried a disease. He was considered unfit to return to work for four weeks due to distress.

Quinn is currently serving a two and a half year sentence for production of an article in the course of a dispute. The court heard that he produced a knife while in prison and waved it at prison staff.

Gda Graham said he believed Quinn had a drug debt and did the act to clear that debt.

Mark Lynam BL, defending, said his understanding of the incident was that it was based on an argument his client had with the prison officer that morning.

Mr Lynam said his client spent six months in solitary confinement as punishment for the incident and had spent practically all his adult life in prison.

Judge Martin Nolan commented that to say the defendant was not a good prisoner was an understatement. He said it was a “pretty low assault” which was nasty and ridiculing.

Judge Nolan sentenced Quinn to two months imprisonment, which he ordered to run consecutively to the two and a half year sentence he is currently serving.

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