herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Drug dealer in hospital after vicious jail fight

Charles Russell. Photo: Coutpix
Charles Russell. Photo: Coutpix

A DRUG dealer was hospitalised after a severe beating by a notorious criminal who is serving a nine-year sentence for chopping off a man's hand .

The brutal fight broke out in the exercise yard of Mountjoy Prison on Sunday when Charles 'Charlie' Russell (33) from Clonsilla beat up fellow inmate Joe Maguire from Ballyfermot who is serving a three-year sentence for drug offences.

Jail insiders revealed that it took a number of prison officers to break up the two who are now the subject of internal disciplinary sanctions.

Maguire suffered severe bruising to his head and a deep cut above his eye.

A source explained: "The fight has led to an increase in tensions in the jail – Russell lives off his reputation as a real hard man and he has dished out a few hidings since he was first locked up in 2008."

SWORD

It is understood that the fight broke out after an earlier altercation in the prison gym.

Former fireman Charlie Russell was given a nine-year jail sentence in March 2009, after he admitted cutting a carpenter's left hand off with a samurai sword in a crowded Dublin pub in January 2008.

Russell of Whitechapel Road, Clonsilla, pleaded guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing Mr Peter Rogers serious harm at The Deputy Mayor Pub, Meekstow, on January 13, 2008.

Russell had 31 previous convictions for road traffic and criminal damage offences.

Russell severed Mr Roger's hand at the wrist with his first swing of the sword and his hand fell to the ground.

It emerged that the victim did not notice that he had lost his hand due to shock.

Mr Rogers continued to struggle with Russell and at one stage punched the accused in the face with the stump of his arm.

Mr Rogers will never have full use of his left hand again. He has also been left with a facial scar from another blow he received from the sword.

In court, it was stated that he has suffered from depression, his relationship has since broken down, and he will never work in carpentry again, or play golf and football as he had done regularly before the assault.

Mr Rogers had been in the pub with a number of friends that day before he was struck from behind with a hammer.

This blow came from Russell' friend Anthony Dowling (38) who was then wrestled away by bar staff.

Dowling of Fortlawn Drive, Blanchardstown, was jailed for six years for his role in the shocking incident.

SURGERY

Russell then swung a samurai sword at Mr Rogers and continued to strike at him four or five times before staff in the pub dragged him away. He was restrained by the bar manager but managed to escape.

One customer picked up Mr Rogers's hand and placed it in ice in a black bag.

The victim was taken to the Mater hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to reattach his hand.

Russell was arrested the following March after gardai identified him from CCTV footage.

He exercised his right to silence in the subsequent interviews and gave no explanation as to why he carried out the attack.

However in court it was stated that Anthony Dowling claimed that Mr Rogers had said something insulting to his girlfriend's mother which led to the attack.

kfoy@herald.ie

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