herald

Sunday 26 January 2020

Prisoner gouged guard's eye so hard his contact lens popped out

Judge Paula Murphy found Patrick Brown guilty and jailed him for four months. (stock photo)
Judge Paula Murphy found Patrick Brown guilty and jailed him for four months. (stock photo)

A Mountjoy inmate who attacked a guard gouged his eye so hard his contact lens popped out, a court has heard.

Patrick Brown (31) punched the officer in the face before gouging his eye in the ensuing struggle after he was told to leave another prisoner's cell.

Brown, serving a two-year sentence for robbery, said he was "no angel," but denied assaulting the prison guard, claiming he only swung a "warning dig" that did not connect.

Judge Paula Murphy found him guilty and jailed him for four months.

Brown, from Finglas, whose address was given as a city centre hostel, had pleaded not guilty to assault on February 4.

The victim told Dublin District Court that he asked Brown to leave a cell and the accused began to verbally abuse him, saying: "You f**king d**khead, what are you being a f**king scumbag for?"

As the guard removed him from the cell, Brown struck him in the face.

He said he took the accused to the floor and Brown's "finger came into my eye, he was gouging at my eye with his left hand. I lost my contact lens".

Scratching

He said the accused also kneed him in the back.

The officer suffered minor scratching and soft tissue damage around his eye.

Brown said he had been told by another officer that he could "double up" in the cell, but the victim told him: "I'm running the show now."

He said that when he asked for the other guard, the victim "didn't like me questioning his authority", pushed him aggressively and "I swung a dig" as a "natural reaction if someone puts their hands on you".

"I made sure it didn't connect," Brown said. "It was a warning."

He said his hand may have gone into the officer's eye in the struggle, but added: "If I had gouged his eye it would have come out."

Brown claimed he was then "thrown into" a padded cell and beaten.

"I'm no angel, but I did nothing wrong that day," he said.

The accused had been an enhanced prisoner and would not have risked losing his privileges, his lawyer said.

The officer's behaviour was a "hot-headed move" by someone whose authority was undermined, the lawyer added.

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