Remand prisoner jailed for attack on prison officer

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A remand prisoner has been jailed for four months after he admitted attacking a prison officer.

Jailing 23-year-old Gareth Robert McClurg at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Rosie Watters said she had “no alternative but to impose an immediate custodial sentence” given his record and the facts of the case.

McClurg, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry prison, admitted a single count of common assault against a prison guard on November 1 last year.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court that the officer had intended to search McClurg and had approached him on the landing, but McClurg refused and “became aggressive,” punching the officer in the face and striking him “multiple times” during the ensuing struggle.

Other officers arrived to assist their colleague and eventually McClurg was restrained, but his victim, who suffered pain to his face, head, back and shoulder, had to take time off work.

His defence solicitor said while McClurg had refused to be interviewed about the incident he had said “sorry” when initially charged, adding that previously, mental health services had been significantly involved in McClurg’s life.