Prisoner sentenced to two more years after threat to prison officer

Luke Wilson (25) had just been handed down the prison sentence from the Special Criminal Court and was observed to be in 'bad form' by other prison officers
Prisoner sentenced to two more years after threat to prison officer

Sonya McLean

A man serving a 12-year sentence for conspiracy to murder will now serve an additional two years for threatening to cut the throat of a prison officer and his children.

Luke Wilson (25) had just been handed down the prison sentence from the Special Criminal Court and was observed to be in “bad form” by other prison officers when he told the officer: “F**k off, or I’ll cut the throat of you”.

Wilson had been the victim of an attempted murder in 2013, when as an 18-year-old his best friend shot him in the face. He lost the sight of his eye as a result of that attack.

Garda Gary Molloy told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that the officer in question knew Wilson well because he was on his landing. He later told gardaí that Wilson had “strong associates with known criminals”. He said the man had “never made any serious threats of violence before”.

The court heard that the officer had told Wilson that it was too late to be cleaning out his cell when he spotted the man with a mop and a bucket. Wilson then made the threat and the officer told him he had two choices “go the yard or go to your cell”.

'Mouth off'

Wilson continued to “mouth off” and was directed back into his cell when he said to the officer “I can’t get you in here but I can get you on the way home. I’ll cut the throat of you”.

There was an incident with another officer later that day and Wilson was instructed to move to a different cell. He refused to move and three officers were trying to escort him. When a call was made for additional assistance, Wilson co-operated.

Gda Molloy said as Wilson was being moved into this different cell, he became verbally aggressive again and told the officer: “If I don’t get you, I will get your kids and family. I will cut their throats”.

The officer later said the threat was made with real venom and he was concerned about it. He again said he had never seen that level of aggression from Wilson before. He said he knew Wilson had contacts in the criminal world and was capable of carrying out these threats.

Wilson of Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to making a threat to kill at Mountjoy Prison on November 17th, 2018.

Eight days earlier

He had been handed down the 12-year sentence eight days earlier. He had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. He has 45 additional previous convictions.

Gda Molloy agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that Wilson’s offending behaviour was “deeply rooted in drug use” and he and another individual were recorded snorting cocaine just before he was arrested with the gun.

He agreed that it had been reported that Wilson was in bad form that day and that he has since apologised to the prison officer.

Gda Molloy accepted that Wilson had been lured into a park and shot three times in the face in 2013. He later lost the sight in his eye as a result of the attack and has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder since.

'Justifiably' frightened

Mr Bowman said his client was remorseful and that there was no basis for his behaviour. He said the prison officer was “justifiably” frightened by the threat.

“He uttered words that he wished he could take back but he cannot. It was a reaction over which he felt he had little control at the time,” counsel submitted to the court.

Mr Bowman said the sentence from the Special Criminal Court had been “crushing” for Wilson as he realised he would miss much of his young son’s childhood.

“He understands that his behaviour is intolerable. He (the prison officer) is entitled to be treated with civility and decency and my client recognises that,” Mr Bowman said.

He told the court that his client has not caused any trouble in the prison since.

Letter of remorse

Judge Melanie Greally accepted that a letter of remorse penned by Wilson was “genuine” but she said the threat had been “repeated on multiple occasions over the course of the day”.

“The threat was issued with significant venom and extended to his family members as well. The means by which the threat would be executed was set out,” Judge Greally said.

She acknowledged that in the victim’s eyes, Wilson is very capable of carrying out such threats.

“I am conscious that prison officers carry out a difficult function and that has to be respected. Members of the prison service have to have confident that something will be done,” the judge added.

She acknowledged that Wilson had “extended an offer to meet with the prison officer to provide him with reassurance that the threat is no longer a concern”.

Judge Greally sentenced Wilson to three and a half years in prison which she ordered be consecutive to the term Wilson is currently serving. She suspended the final 18 months of that sentence on strict conditions.

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