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Stormont to summon top jail staff over blind inmate

By Noel McAdam

Published 16/09/2016

Paul Ervine at an earlier court appearance
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Stormont's Justice Committee is to summon the Prisoner Ombudsman and jail management after a mentally-ill inmate blinded himself while wardens watched.

A report said the guards failed to intervene as 23-year-old Sean Lynch inflicted extreme self harm while incarcerated in the high-security Maghaberry Prison in June 2014.

The case was raised at yesterday's meeting of the Assembly's Justice Committee, which intends to examine the circumstances further after an official report this week from Ombudsman Tom McGonigle.

After discussion with chairman Paul Frew, the committee agreed to request that the Ombudsman and prison management appear before them as soon as possible.

The Ombudsman's report said the wardens failed to step in because of security concerns and a failure to realise the seriousness of his injuries, as Mr Lynch blinded himself by gouging his own eyes out and cut his groin.

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