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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019
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Manhunt: Gardaí search for dangerous escaped prisoner Derek Brockwell after hospital attack

The man, a UK national, was serving a sentence for armed robbery.

Updated 7.19pm

Derek Brockwell Source: Garda Press Office

A PRISONER HAS made a violent escape from custody while being escorted to hospital for a scheduled appointment.

Derek Brockwell (53), a UK national, had been serving a seven-year sentence at Portlaoise prison for robbery and possession of firearms.

It is understood one of the three prison officers on the escort was stabbed in the abdomen during the incident, and is currently undergoing emergency surgery.

Another prison officer received a wound to the hand.

Brockwell is understood to have escaped on a motorbike with help from an accomplice.

Gardaí have appealed for information on the man’s whereabouts and have released the above image.

Brockwell is described as being 6’03’’ tall with brown hair and broad build.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tallaght Garda Station on 01- 6666000, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

File Pics Tallaght Hospital CEO denies health of patients under threat. Tallaght Hospital Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

The incident happened at roughly 3.30pm this afternoon.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service said an incident took place at Tallaght Hospital and that a full investigation is underway. A statement issued this evening said:

The Director General of the Irish Prison Service has said that our thoughts are with our staff who have been injured in this serious incident.

Brockwell was arrested in Ireland in 2012 after an appearance on BBC’s Crimewatch, when police described him as ‘dangerous‘.

Brockwell came to Ireland – and committed robbery and firearms offences – after absconding from prison in Britain where he was serving almost two dozen life sentences.

PastedImage-71356 Source: Irish Prison Service

Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Niall Collins said he was alarmed by the incident.

“A zero tolerance approach should be taken against those that target people serving in our emergency services and prisons,” he said

The current system needs to be reformed to discourage these sort of escapes and tougher penalties are needed to punish those that have the audacity to target those tasked with upholding the law and keeping dangerous criminals off our streets.

Jim Mitchell, Deputy General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association, said dangerous prisoners must be accompanied by appropriate levels of security.

“This, and indeed other incidents where our colleagues have been injured in recent years, raises many serious questions which must be tackled by prison management,” he added.
Additional reporting by Sinead O’Caroll. Originally published 4.20pm

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