Jail for Corkman who attacked prison officers and made lewd comment about Garda's wife

Jail for Corkman who attacked prison officers and made lewd comment about Garda's wife

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed the total sentence of nine months on Matthew Ginnifer with an address at Batt Donegan Place in Charleville, County Cork.

A nine-month jail term was imposed on a man for attacking two prison officers, making lewd and offensive comments to a garda and breaking into apartments in Cork city where he left a trail of his own blood.

Judge Olann Kelleher imposed the total sentence of nine months on Matthew Ginnifer with an address at Batt Donegan Place in Charleville, County Cork.

Sergeant John Kelleher outlined the catalogue of crimes committed by the 26-year-old.

Ginnifer confessed to charges of assault causing harm to two prison officers – one of whom was working as a nurse - at Cork prison on December 28, 2019.

Ginnifer was shouting that he wanted to get out of his cell and the prison officer told him he was to remain in the cell. Ginnifer prevented him from closing the door and tried to push past the officer, knocking him to the ground.

Later when another prison officer was present to give medical treatment there was a further scuffle when Ginnifer again tried to force his way out of the cell.

Sergeant John Kelleher said the same defendant broke into an apartment in Cork city around this time and stole a crowbar which he used to break into other apartments at Dyke Parade. 

A woman living at an apartment woke to hear the attempted break-in to her home at six o’clock in the morning and she shouted out that she was going to ring for the gardaí.

There was a trail of blood in the hall outside as Ginnifer had cut his hand while breaking a window to get into the previous apartment.

Most recently on August 20 of this year during a public order incident in Cork city he told a member of An Garda Síochána he would engage in an offensive act with the officer’s wife.

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said the comments made during that incident were highly offensive and went beyond the bounds of acceptability. 

“He stepped beyond the bounds of propriety,” Me Buttimer said.

The solicitor said the defendant needed to think for two or three seconds before reacting to situations and failure to do so was resulting in many of his difficulties. 

Mr Buttimer said Ginnifer needed to address anger management issues and substance abuse.

Judge Kelleher noted that out of 100 previous convictions the accused had three for assault causing harm, five for burglary and 22 for theft.

Regarding the assault on prison officers, the judge said Ginnifer was attacking the very people who were looking after him in prison. He said he would not repeat what the accused had said about the guard’s wife and that the burglaries, especially the one where the woman woke at 6 a.m., must have been very frightening.

He imposed a total sentence of nine months in respect of all of the crimes.

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