herald

Thursday 14 November 2019

Feared jail thug Wright is enjoying his freedom

Leon Wright (31) at Blanchardstown Garda Station
Leon Wright (31) at Blanchardstown Garda Station

Ireland's most dangerous inmate has been spending his free time between Dublin city centre and the suburbs since his release from jail.

Leon Wright (31) walked out of the Midlands Prison last Thursday and is currently staying at a property on the northside.

However, he has also spent time in other parts of Dublin, including Blanchardstown and the city centre.

Our pictures show the thug, who has racked up more than 100 convictions, arriving at Blanchardstown Garda Station yesterday.

He has also been sighted just off Dublin's O'Connell Street.

The thug looked bulkier than the fresh-faced teen who was photographed outside a court at 18 years of age following a spate of violent crimes.

Until his release this week, he had been one of the handful of inmates detained in the €2.7m Violence Reduction Unit at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, which aims to help reduce the number of violent attacks in the nation's jails.

Alan Ellis (26), who is serving six years for torturing a 14-year-old boy, whom he tied to a radiator, poured boiling water down his trousers and attacked him with a cheese grater, was also moved to the unit.

The Irish Prison Service had attempted various approaches to help control Wright's terrifying rages, including the use of a PlayStation games console, a fish tank and access to a garden.

At his most recent court appearance, in which he had faced charges of attacking prison staff, Wright was accompanied in court by five prison officers in riot gear.

In that case in March 2017, he was given an extra six months for assaulting three prison officers as he attempted to headbutt the governor of the Midlands Prison.

Wright has clocked up 106 convictions in total, including 30 assault, firearms and robbery offences.

Dangerous

He has also had more than 250 breaches of prison discipline recorded against him.

At a 2007 trial, he was described by Judge Michael White as a "very dangerous teenager".

The remark came as the judge imposed a sentence of 13 years for a series of violent crimes, including robbery, hijacking, assault and threatening to kill gardai.

He was only 18 when he was sentenced on those charges and at that stage, he had 44 previous convictions.

The judge noted that while Wright could be clear and articulate, he was disposed to violence and was at a "very high risk of reoffending".

Evidence had been given in court that Wright stabbed a youth in the leg during a robbery at St Stephen's Green and at a later date hijacked two cars from women while out shopping at Liffey Valley.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News