herald

Monday 22 April 2019

Face of knife thug on run after giving jail guards the slip on hospital visit

Michael Power is being hunted by gardai after fleeing from St James’s Hospital while he was under escort
Michael Power is being hunted by gardai after fleeing from St James’s Hospital while he was under escort

This is the violent prisoner who is being hunted by gardai after escaping from a Dublin hospital.

Michael Power (23) is serving a lengthy jail term for an unprovoked knife attack on a homeless man which left the victim fighting for his life.

The inmate was escorted from Mountjoy Prison to St James's Hospital on Wednesday morning where he was being treated when he fled.

Last night gardai were continuing their search for the young criminal who is originally from the Blanchardstown area.

Dangerous

Sources have described him as a dangerous individual who has been involved in knife crime since his teens.

The Irish Prison Service (IPS) is carrying out its own investigation into how he managed to escape from two prison officers.

A spokesman said gardai were immediately notified of the escape. "The Irish Prison Service can confirm that a prisoner has escaped from lawful custody while under escort at St James's Hospital," he said.

"An Garda Siochana were notified immediately and provided with all the relevant information in relation to the prisoner.

"The Irish Prison Service is currently investigating the circumstances of the escape."

A citywide alert was issued over Power with his picture and details sent to all Dublin garda stations.

St James’s Hospital
St James’s Hospital

Searches have been carried out over the last two days in the south inner city area near St James's Hospital as well as the west Dublin area where Power is originally from.

However, he remains unlawfully at large.

In October 2017 Power was jailed for 10 years, with 18 months suspended, after being convicted of a horrific knife attack on a homeless man in the city centre.

He sliced his victim's face from ear to mouth, which left him requiring 48 stitches and with permanent scarring.

The homeless man also suffered potentially life-threatening injuries and had to have his spleen removed. He will be on lifelong medication.

Power, of Parslickstown Gardens, Mulhuddart, was convicted of assault, assault causing serious harm, and possession of a knife in Dublin's south inner city on June 27, 2015.

He has 33 previous convictions and has been in prison since 2015, having been held on remand before his conviction.

The victim was sitting in a doorway minding his own business when he was subjected to an "unprovoked and vicious" attack.

Power was only 20 when he carried out the attack and was later identified by CCTV and a description given by a witness.

He was later arrested in possession of a flick knife but refused to say anything during garda interviews.

Failed

Only earlier this month Power failed in an appeal to have his conviction in relation to that attack quashed.

During Power's trial it was noted that he had a serious drug problem but was now clean and had become a facilitator in the prison's Alternative to Violence programme.

At the time the court also heard that Power was a spokesperson for the Travelling community in the prison and helped newcomers to settle in. He had also completed an overdose prevention programme to be of assistance to others.

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