Wednesday 16 October 2019

Man who headbutted prison officer in court is jailed for four months

A MAN who headbutted a prison officer in open court after he 'took exception' to being told to be quiet has been sentenced to four months in prison.

Thomas Hendy (29), of Mullinagower, Castlebridge, was back in the courthouse in Ardcavan on Monday where he pleaded guilty to a charge of assaulting Seamus Wilson on September 8, 2010.

Inspector Pat McDonald told Wexford District Court that Hendy appeared before the court on the date in question in the custody of two prison officers, as he was serving a sentence at the time.

'He took exception to being told to be quiet during court proceedings and launched himself at one of the officers, Seamus Wilson, headbutting him in the face,' said Inspector McDonald.

The prison officers required the help of a number of Gardaí to restrain Hendy and take him back to the waiting prison van outside.

Inspector McDonald said that Mr Wilson sustained a cut to his nose and was knocked to the ground. His shirt was ripped extensively during the assault by Hendy and his mobile phone was also damaged.

Judge William Earley heard that Hendy has 78 previous convictions and is currently in custody in Mountjoy Prison. He is due to be released in July 2013.

Ed King, for Hendy, said his client has a serious drug habit, which began at 12 and escalated at the age of 15 when he started taking cocaine, speed and ecstasy.

Mr King said that Hendy has spent a substantial part of his life in prison, but was previously a talented footballer and artist in his youth, with a scholarship to the National College of Art & Design available to him at one stage. His family had high hopes for him, Mr King said, but he chose a different path. 'Drugs took a hold of this man's life,' he said.

Judge Earley said that Hendy's behaviour in court that day was 'intolerable' and he sentenced him to four months for the assault, that sentence to run consecutively to the one he's currently serving.

'Obviously he has considerable talents, hopefully he'll he use them to better effect in the future,' said Judge Earley.

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