Judge 'perplexed' at prisoner's release


A JUDGE has ordered a prison governor to appear before him to explain how a man jailed for eight weeks in Mullingar last Thursday reoffended in Athlone five days later.

“I want the governor of the Midlands Prison to come here and tell the people of Athlone why Mr Fallon is out,” Judge Séamus Hughes said. “I’m lost for words. This is an appalling situation.”

Gerry Fallon (53), Kiltoom, Athlone, was arrested at 2.40am yesterday and charged with vandalising a car in Baylough.

“It’s hard to get my head around this,” said the judge, who recalled sentencing Fallon in the District Court in Mullingar on June 14th to two consecutive four-week sentences for trespassing at the homes of two elderly people.

The judge said he believed that a prison governor was not allowed to offer a temporary release to a prisoner who had consecutive sentences until the first sentence had been served.

“A lot of these decisions [concerning temporary release] are being made behind the backs of the custodians of the court, and the people of Athlone are entitled to an explanation,” Judge Hughes said.

“I am perplexed by this decision. Have you any view to express on my comments?” the judge asked of Insp Nicholas Farrell for the State.

The inspector admitted that “the situation was commented on by my colleagues this morning”.

Fallon was remanded in custody to June 27th and the judge issued a witness summons for the Midlands Prison governor, Colm Barclay, to appear on the same date.