A prisoner who apologised unreservedly for spitting blood and saliva into the eyes and mouth of a prison officer later complained that it was a disgrace and a joke for him to get a five-month jail sentence for the assault.
Defence solicitor Joseph Cuddigan said Colm Murdock, 39, apologised unreservedly to the prison officer for the assault.
Mr Cuddigan said Murdock was disgusted with what happened to the prison officer. However, the defence solicitor said the accused had already been disciplined in prison, effectively having 21 days added to his time in custody.
The solicitor urged the sentencing judge to impose a fully suspended sentence. He said that when the accused was arrested he was covered in blood from an injury he had sustained and was not conscious of what he was doing as a result of whatever he had taken.
Judge Olann Kelleher said the assault was a frightening experience for the prison officer who would not have expected that kind of treatment in the course of his work – to have blood and saliva spat into his face.
The judge said the officer would have had the worry of having to wait for various tests to be done, given the nature of the assault.
Judge Kelleher said that, like nurses and gardaí, prison officers were in a position of danger and needed to be protected. He imposed the five-month sentence on the accused.
Before Murdock was taken into custody he said to Judge Kelleher, “That is a disgrace, your honour. A joke.”
Sergeant John Kelleher said the assault was committed when Murdock was being admitted to Cork prison on July 23 2018.
“He spat directly into the prison officer’s face – blood and saliva entered the prison officer’s mouth and eyes and he had to be taken to the Accident and Emergency unit,” Sgt. Kelleher said.