Admits posioning prison officer

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

A man serving a jail sentence for breaking into chapels in Derry has admitted poisoning a prison officer.

Bernard Cooke, whose address was given on court papers as c/o Magilligan Prison, pleaded guilty to administering poison to a female prison officer with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy her.

The charges relate to an incident on May 21, last year when the 21-year-old gave the officer Mebeverine - a drug used to treat irritable bowel syndrome.

Cooke, who is originally from the Lettershandoney area was jailed for almost three years in September last year for burglary offences.

They included breaking into St Patrick’s Church, Pennyburn, St Brigid’s Church, Carnhill, and St Mary’s Parochial House, Ardmore, as well as a number of domestic premises between October and December 2012.

He appeared at Belfast Crown Court yesterday in relation to the poisoning offence and entered a guilty plea.

Sentencing was adjourned for a probation pre-sentence report to be compiled. Cooke was remanded in custody and will appear in court again on March 27.