herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Killer and parents are quizzed over Brockwell escape

Derek Brockwell
Derek Brockwell

A convicted killer was being questioned by gardai last night about helping prisoner Derek Brockwell escape from custody.

The killer is serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter at the country's highest security prison in Portlaoise.

The 32-year-old, who is from Dublin's north inner city, is a very close associate of another feared killer.

He was also connected to many of the country's most feared gangsters before he was finally locked up in 2009.

Detectives in Rathfarnham Garda Station have also questioned the man about phone calls he made in jail and about his association with armed robber Brockwell.

The man's parents also remained in custody at Tallaght Garda Station last night. They were questioned about their suspected role in Brockwell's violent escape from Tallaght Hospital last month.

Sources have revealed that gardai are investigating whether the convicted killer's father is the man who drove Brockwell from the hospital on a motorbike and then transferred him to a car that was driven over the border on February 17.

It is understood detectives are also trying to discover if the inmate's mother knew about the plot to free Brockwell before and after his high-profile escape and recapture.

All three were arrested by Tallaght gardai yesterday morning.

pistol

The arrested inmate is a childhood pal of another north inner city criminal who has around 40 convictions and is serving time for a range of offences, including possession of a semi-automatic pistol. He is not due to be released from jail until 2021.

On the afternoon of his escape, Glaswegian Brockwell produced a knife which had been left for him in a toilet by an accomplice in the diabetic unit of Tallaght Hospital.

He stabbed prison officers Dan Buckley and Graham Flynn, who are both understood to be making a good recovery from their injuries.

Brockwell then ran out of the hospital and was driven away on a motorbike by an accomplice. It is understood he was later transferred to a car.

He crossed the border but was arrested in Belfast less than 30 hours after his escape.

He stabbed himself when approached by PSNI officers outside a pub and they were forced to taser him during the course of his arrest.

Brockwell is suspected of two robberies in Belfast before his arrest, including a hold-up at the Urban Pharmacy on the Dublin Road. He is expected to face charges in the North before an extradition decision is made.

kfoy@herald.ie

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