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Monday 5 December 2016

Career criminal Derek Brockwell may face assault charges over prison officers attack

Derek Brockwell who escaped in February
Derek Brockwell who escaped in February

A major criminal alleged to have attacked two prison officers with a knife in hospital is expected to face charges of assault causing harm.

Armed robber Derek Brockwell (54) had been serving a prison sentence when he made his high-profile escape from Tallaght Hospital.

He was arrested in Belfast the following day and is now serving a life sentence in England, where he was also wanted.

Gardai intend to apply for a European Arrest Warrant in relation to the alleged assault at Tallaght Hospital.

"It was being examined whether Brockwell should be charged with attempted murder of those officers but, as it turns out, there are likely to be lesser charges," said a source.

READ MORE: Prisoner at large Derek Brockwell tasered, caught by police in the North

"The anticipation however is that it will be many years before he is back on these shores because of what is outstanding against him in the North and England."

Brockwell was discharged from hospital in the North on March 3 last.

READ MORE: Fugitive Brockwell remains in hospital after taser arrest outside pub

He had been getting treatment in the Royal Victoria Hospital after his arrest.

It is understood that he stabbed himself when the PSNI tasered him outside a pub in Belfast, where he carried out two robberies after his high-profile escape on February 17.

Three people - including a convicted killer - were questioned about helping him to escape. They had been arrested in dawn raids weeks after the stab attacks.

Brockwell, who is Scottish, arrived in Dublin in February 2012 after absconding from a prison in Lancashire while he was on day release. He had served 12 years of a life sentence for a series of armed robberies in London.

Before being busted by gardai in October 2012, Brockwell had been on the run from English police since the previous February.

He had featured on the BBC's Crimewatch television programme just days before being arrested by heavily-armed detectives in Blackrock, south Dublin.

Apart from his four armed robbery convictions here, Brockwell has 64 previous convictions in the UK, including 11 for firearms and 11 for robbery.

In relation to his crime spree here, Judge Martin Nolan said Brockwell "had no great difficulty using violence or the threat of violence to rob whenever he needed money".

Judge Nolan sentenced him to seven years in prison for the offences committed here.

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