Two Mountjoy Prison inmates "ganged up" and carried out a "cowardly and callous" attack on a vulnerable prisoner two days before he was killed in a separate incident, a court heard.
William Ward, 31, of Grantstown Mews, Grantstown Park, Waterford, and Dylan Jones, 22, of Beech Drive, Greenfields, Waterford, pleaded guilty on Friday to violent disorder on July 27th, 2022.
Judge Michele Finan imposed eight-month sentences in their Dublin District Court cases but suspended the final three months for Ward and two for Jones.
She stipulated that they would run consecutively to their existing jail terms.
Scott Capper, 29, of Cappagh Green, Finglas, Co. Dublin, faces the same charge but had his case adjourned until December to consider his plea.
The victim, Robert O'Connor, 34, from Snowdrop Walk, Darndale, Dublin, died after being injured in an unrelated prison attack two days later. However, Judge Finan heard it was not alleged that Ward, Jones or Mr Capper were involved in that incident.
Garda Raymond Lee said at about 7.10 p.m. on July 27 2022, prison officers heard shouts from cell 14 on D-landing.
The door was "held shut" by an inmate, but on forcing entry, prison officers saw Ward and Jones, and one other person kicking a fourth prisoner "on the ground in the foetal position".
The court heard that his face was bleeding afterwards, and "his right eye was not reacting normally to light".
Garda Lee said the injured prisoner didn't make a complaint to gardaí or seek medical attention.
With 21 prior criminal convictions, Jones has spent most of his adult life in prison for an aggravated burglary.
Ward, a welder and gym instructor, recorded 56 previous offences for burglary, brandishing a weapon, harassment, robbery, escaping from custody, and motoring and public order crimes.
Pleading for leniency, defence solicitor Brian Tunney said his clients were deeply apologetic and regretted their actions.
He said that father of two Ward maintained that he had a "long-standing disagreement" with the victim, culminating in the physical altercation.
Mr Tunny said Ward had wasted most of his twenties in prison and missed out on visiting his ill father, and he was "desperate for a final chance".
He was due to be released in November but will serve an additional six months.
The court heard that Jones had planned to join the British army but received a lengthy sentence just after turning 18.
He was due to be released in 2026 but now must face an extra six months in prison.
The suspended portions of their sentences will only be activated if they re-offend in the next two years.
Judge Finan described it as a tragic story and said the offence was exacerbated by the victim's vulnerable situation after other prisoners "ganged up" on him.
A fourth man accused of the murder of Robert O'Connor, 34, from Snowdrop Walk, Darndale, north Dublin, on July 29th 2022, in Mountjoy Prison, is awaiting trial.
By Tom Tuite
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