File set for DPP as suspect in prison killing released without charge

Detectives arrested man for questioning over stabbing of Graham Johnson at Cork Prison

Detectives arrested a suspect at Cork Prison at 9am on Friday and brought him to Mayfield Garda station for questioning over a fatal assault on father-of-three Graham Johnson. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Detectives arrested a suspect at Cork Prison at 9am on Friday and brought him to Mayfield Garda station for questioning over a fatal assault on father-of-three Graham Johnson. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Gardaí are to prepare a file for the DPP after releasing without charge a 30-year-old man arrested for questioning over the fatal stabbing of a prisoner at Cork Prison last weekend.

Detectives arrested the suspect at Cork Prison at 9am on Friday and brought him to Mayfield Garda station for questioning over the fatal assault on father-of-three Graham Johnson.

Mr Johnson was serving a five-year sentence for robbery and larceny when he was stabbed to death during a row in the prison kitchen at about 5pm last Saturday.

Mr Johnson suffered a single stab wound to the chest and prison nursing staff attended to him, but he was pronounced dead a short time later by a doctor.

Mr Johnson was one of a number of inmates with enhanced prisoner status working in the kitchen at the time when a row broke out between himself and another enhanced status prisoner.

It’s understood the row centred on a remote control for the TV, with one man wanting to watch horseracing and the other wanting to watch Steven Gerrard’s last game for Liverpool.

Enhanced prisoner status was introduced in 2012 to incentivise prisoners to behave well and it involves prisoners being allowed work in areas such as the kitchen or laundry.

A postmortem on Mr Johnson’s body carried out on Monday by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy confirmed he had died of a single stab wound to the chest.

Garda technical experts had earlier recovered a knife from the kitchen area which they believe was used in the fatal assault on Mr Johnson, who was from Ardan, Bandon, West Cork.

Detectives obtained a Section 42 warrant from Cork District Court last Monday to allow them arrest the suspect at Cork Prison on Friday and take him to a Garda station for questioning.

Officers executed the warrant at Cork Prison and arrested the suspect, who is originally from Co Waterford and is on remand in the jail in relation to a robbery.

The man was detained at Mayfield Garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardaí to hold suspects for up to 24 hours before they are released or charged.

The man was released without charge from Garda custody at 1pm on Saturday day and returned to prison custody, and gardaí will now prepare a file for the DPP on the matter, a Garda spokesman said.

Mr Johnson, who is survived by his mother, three children, brothers and sisters, was buried following requiem Mass at St Patrick’s Church in Bandon on Friday.