Prisoner wins judicial review of punishment


A prisoner who claims he was forced to take part in a disturbance at Wheatfield Prison on Christmas Day has brought a High Court challenge to the prison governor’s decision to punish him.

Stephen Ennis’s punishment involves him being deprived of recreation, all visits except professional visits and phone calls for 42 days.

Michael O’Higgins SC, for Ennis, argued no proper hearing was conducted into the matter and that Ennis was given no opportunity to put his version of events forward.

Mr Justice Michael Peart granted the ex parte (one side only represented) application for leave to challenge the punishment via judicial review and granted a stay on the punishment pending review.

Ennis (22) is serving a three-year sentence for the theft of several laptops and mobile phones from HSE offices.

His proceedings arise from an incident in which another prisoner, whom Ennis claims was intoxicated, acted violently towards prison officers.

The intoxicated prisoner ordered Ennis to drag a mattress from a cell and place it against a door to prevent the prison officers entering. Ennis claims he complied only after the prisoner hit him with the pool cue and threatened to stab him.