Probe underway after ‘struggle’ at prison

Tony Taylor. Pic by Trevor McBride
Tony Taylor. Pic by Trevor McBride

An investigation is underway at Maghaberry Prison following claims that a Derry republican remand prisoner sustained a broken arm in a struggle with prison officers.

One prison custody officer was taken to hospital following the incident which involved 43 year-old Tony Taylor on Thursday morning

Taylor faces a charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life last year and was due to appear in court on Thursday morning.

The Prison Service issued the following statement: “The Governor is investigating an incident in a prison service van at Maghaberry Prison involving a prisoner who was about to leave for court. One Prisoner Custody Officer received hospital treatment following the incident.”

Taylor’s family claimed his wrist has been broken in a struggle with the prison staff.

His sister Joanne Starrs alleged that prison staff became violent towards her brother when he asked for documents ahead of a court appearance.

“A member of the prison staff bounced Tony’s head off the side of the van. Then he put his hand on the back of his head and pushed it down on a bar. The riot squad came out and kicked Tony in the face and stood on his hand.”

Sinn Féin vice-Chair of the Assembly Justice Committee, Raymond McCartney MLA (Foyle) said yesterday that he will raise the matter with Justice Minister David Ford and the Prisons Ombudsman Pauline McCabe.

“I will be asking the Justice Minister David Ford to carry out an investigation into this incident. I will also be in contact with the Prisons Ombudsman Pauline McCabe to see if she has initiated an investigation and I will be requesting to be kept fully up to date of all matters relating to this incident.”