herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Garda killer will have time off sentence

A MAN who killed a garda by ramming his patrol car will be granted early release from prison due to 'good behaviour', despite escaping from prison.

Martin McDermott (27) was handed down a seven-year sentence for killing Garda Gary McLoughlin in the car-ramming incident.

He escaped from Loughan House open prison in 2012 and assaulted a PSNI officer when he was apprehended north of the Border the following day.

RECKLESS

McDermott was given the sentence in 2011 for ploughing his car into Gda McLoughlin's while he was behind the wheel at twice the legal drink-driving limit.

McDermott was also convicted of the reckless endangerment of Gda Bernard McLoughlin for the same incident that happened in Burt, Co Donegal, in December 2009, and was disqualified from driving for 20 years.

McDermott's escape from Loughan House in Co Cavan took place in March 2012.

Despite the escape, it has emerged that McDermott still qualifies for the vast majority of 25pc remission prisoners are granted automatically.

Under Section 13 of the Prison Act 2007, a breach of prison discipline including escape leads to a forfeiture of remission of "not more than 14 days".

It was reported this morning that McDermott is due to be released from Midlands Prison next June, a reduction in his sentence of 21 months, less the two weeks' penalty for the disciplinary breach.

After his escape in 2012 it emerged that McDermott had previously absconded from the same prison in November 2007 while serving a three-month sentence but was apprehended five days later.

The Prison Service blamed an unnamed prison official for transferring the criminal, who has 91 convictions, to the open prison.

Service director general Michael Donnellan said at the time: "The decision maker did not attach sufficient weight to the gravity of the offence for which the offender had been sentenced."

Gda Gary McLoughlin was just 24 when he was killed.

This weekend 90 cyclists will be racing the length of Ireland from Mizen to Malin for charity and to honour Gda McLoughlin and another officer who died in the line of duty, Robbie McCallion.

hnews@herald.ie

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