Public excluded from Dundalk court over violent prisoner concerns

Public excluded from Dundalk court over violent prisoner concerns

Members of the public were excluded from Dundalk Circuit Court for a time yesterday, over concerns about a violent prisoner who escorted into court by a high security team of prison officers.

The 21 year old who is awaiting trial on a charge of assault causing harm in County Louth appeared before the in-camera sitting last Tuesday immediately before the court resumed sitting in public after the lunchtime break.

He was brought up from the cells in the basement of the courthouse, escorted by five prison officers wearing riot gear.

Prosecutor Kevin Segrave told Judge Michael O'Shea he was making a special application requesting that a report be obtained from the governor of the prison, where the defendant is on remand.

He asked that this set out proposals for the prison escort and how the trial might be managed while before the jury.

The Defence barrister said there is obviously a difficulty “which speaks for itself” in terms of the case being presented before the jury and said there has been correspondence between the Defence solicitor and the prison authorities in respect of their policy.

He added he had formal instructions from his client that he could not give consent to the report. However, Judge O'Shea said that was a matter purely for the court.

He adjourned the case for three weeks, to the opening day of an extra five week sitting for a trial date to be confirmed.

The 21 year old was remanded in continuing custody and as he was being brought towards the door that leads down to the cells, the defendant shouted "Ring me on Sunday" to his mother.