By David O’Sullivan
A man has been jailed for six years for his involvement in an attack on another prisoner in Mountjoy Prison.
Brandon Crosbie (25) of Hollytree Terrace, Balbutcher Lane, Dublin 11 appeared before Judge Martin Nolan in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to one count of violent disorder on December 18, 2018 in Mountjoy Prison as well as several counts of endangerment and dangerous driving while driving through Dublin City on May 22, 2022.
Crosbie also pleaded guilty to seven charges in relation to a car chase across Dublin City on May 22, 2022. These charges include endangerment, unlawful use of a vehicle without the consent of its owner, two counts of intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which created a substantial risk of death, and criminal damage as well as driving without insurance or a driving license.
Garda John Costigan told Diana Stuart BL, prosecuting, that Crosbie was involved in an attack on a fellow prisoner in the recreation hall of Mountjoy Prison on December 18, 2018.
CCTV played to the court showed six prisoners, including Crosbie, attacking a man near a billiards table.
The footage showed the men kicking and punching the man as well as stamping on his head while he was down on the ground. The man was left unconscious as a result of the attack.
All six men involved in the attack were identified through CCTV.
One of the men involved had a knife, but the court heard Crosbie had no knowledge of this “and did not know it was going to be used.”
Crosbie accepted his involvement in the violent disorder and was subject to a disciplinary hearing while in prison.
The injured man refused to cooperate with the investigation or make a victim impact statement.
Garda Wayne O’Brien told Jennifer Jackson BL, prosecuting, that he was on patrol in an unmarked car with a colleague when Crosbie cut across them.
The gardai activated their lights and sirens and indicated that Crosbie should stop, but he accelerated.
During the pursuit, Crosbie broke red lights, drove on the wrong side of a roundabout, forced a taxi to take evasive action and drove straight through a toll bridge barrier.
Crosbie made no attempt to stop or yield to traffic. At one point he reached speeds of 160km/h.
An armed support unit became involved in the chase and set up a ‘stinger.’ When Crosbie drove past them, one of his tyres was hit and began to deflate.
The pursuit continued, and ultimately ended when the tyre disintegrated. Crosbie was arrested when he left the vehicle.
The court heard he was co-operative with gardai following his arrest. Crosbie has 118 previous convictions.
The entire incident last around half an hour. The vehicle had been reported missing the previous evening, but Crosbie faced no charge in relation to this.
Aoife O’Leary BL, defending, said her client had struggled with addiction and the abuse of tablets in the past.
She said that on the day Crosbie drove dangerously, no one was hurt and that there was no damage to or collision with other vehicles.
Ms O’Leary said her client had come in contact with the criminal justice system from a young age and “engaged impulsively” on May 22, 2022.
She told the court her client was anxious to deal with his own issues and is willing to engage with any services that would help him with his drug addiction.
In sentencing, Judge Nolan described Crosbie’s driving as “horrendous” and said the violent disorder was “a serious matter.”
“While he was not the ring leader of the attack on this individual, he took a very active participation,” Judge Nolan said.
He said Crosbie was “entirely reckless” while driving and drove “without regard to other road users and innocent people who were just driving along public roads”.
Judge Nolan sentenced Crosbie to six years imprisonment on the count of violent disorder and four years for the endangerment charge. These sentences will run concurrently.
“I should say that if the endangerment wasn’t before the court, I would have imposed a four year sentence upon the violent disorder,” he said.
Judge Nolan also disqualified Crosbie from driving for five years.
The sentence was backdated to when Crosbie entered custody on October 10, 2022.