A prisoner got a rush of blood to the head and attacked another prisoner who had left a pipe-bomb outside his parents’ home — but he injured two prison officers in the process, a court has heard.
The attacker was jailed for four months today on two counts of assaulting prison officers in the course of his attack on the other man.
Judge Colm Roberts imposed the jail term on Gino Delaney at Cork District Court.
“Prison officers have a very difficult job,” said Judge Roberts. “Mr Delaney cannot take actions which have such long term consequences for the prison officers.
“It would be sending out all the wrong messages if this did not lead to a custodial sentence.
Inspector Martin Canny said Gino Delaney, 24, with an address at Barrack St, Cork, was in Cork Prison on August 2, 2017, when the assaults occurred.
Victim impact statements by the two injured officers were handed into court, but were not read out in the course of the case.
After reading them, Judge Roberts said that if the prosecution had known more about the injuries as outlined in the recently prepared statements, he would have expected the case to be sent forward to the Circuit Court.
“When he was trying to assault another person, other people got in the way, and now have long-term serious injuries,” said Judge Roberts.
He added that they had a difficult job, putting their own safety at risk, for the safety of others.
Diarmuid Kelleher, solicitor, said the officers were trying to restrain Delaney, and “he was reckless in his actions”. The judge said: “That is putting it mildly.”
Mr Kelleher said: “He was reckless to the prison officers in trying to harm someone else. He was not trying to fundamentally undermine the status of the prison officers.”
Judge Roberts said of the defendant’s actions: “It was unreasonable, it was reckless, it was dangerous, and it has to have consequences.”
Mr Kelleher submitted that it dated back to 2017, that Delaney was not prosecuted for the assaults until a long time after the incident, and that he had spent over two years of that time in custody.
Concluding his judgement, Judge Roberts said: “I don’t believe the lack of intent completely undermines the seriousness of what he did. He had a reckless disregard for the prison officers who were just doing their job. They have injuries with long-term consequences.”
The judge imposed two sentences on Gino Delaney for the prison officer assaults — an actual prison sentence of four months and a suspended four-month sentence. The jail term will be appealed.