herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Patient cleared of punching prison officer in the face

Mater Hospital, Dublin
Mater Hospital, Dublin

A PATIENT has been cleared of punching a prison officer in the face while he was watching the Eurovision Song Contest in the waiting room of an Emergency Department.

Kevin McCabe (48) had denied he called the prison officer a "scumbag" or a "rat" before hitting him, claiming the prison officer had approached him, saying "you can't even do your job right".

Mr McCabe - a former prisoner - claimed this was in reference to a previous incident when the prison officer approached him in Mountjoy Prison and promised he would get early release if he (McCabe) told him which prison officers had mobile phones.

Judge Ann Ryan dismissed the matter, saying there was clearly a "history" between the two men, but the State had failed to prove its case.

Mr McCabe, of North Circular Road, Dublin 7, was found not guilty before Dublin District Court of assaulting a peace officer at the Mater Hospital's Emergency Department on May 10, 2014.

SHOUTING

In his evidence, the prison officer claimed he was sitting with a prisoner when Mr McCabe started shouting abuse at him, calling him a "rat" and a "scumbag".

He claimed he ignored this name-calling, and a nurse asked Mr McCabe to move.

The prison officer claimed Mr McCabe approached him a second time and punched him with a clenched fist on the left cheek.

He said he stood up and defended himself, the pair rolled on the ground, and security staff removed Mr McCabe from him.

The prison officer denied there was "bad blood" between him and Mr McCabe.

In his evidence, Mr McCabe said he was waiting to be seen by doctors when the prison officer remarked about him not having done his job right, which was a reference to him being asked to tell the prison officer about mobile phones in Mountjoy.

Mr McCabe claimed he was getting "bad vibes" from the prison officer and was in fear of him, alleging the prison officer called him a "scumbag" and put his hand on him.

He claimed he then pushed the prison officer away.

hnews@herald.ie

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