Europe

Derek Brockwell: Officers stabbed as prisoner escapes in Dublin

Derek Brockwell Image copyright Garda
Image caption Brockwell had absconded from a life sentence in the UK for a series of armed robberies

Irish police are continuing to search for a prisoner who escaped from custody in a Dublin hospital after allegedly stabbing two prison officers.

Derek Brockwell, a UK national, is serving a seven-year sentence for an October 2012 armed robbery in Dublin.

He was brought to Tallaght Hospital from Portlaoise Prison for treatment, but once there he attacked two prison officers escorting him.

One was stabbed in the stomach and one in the hand and back.

Brockwell escaped on a motorbike driven by an accomplice.

Both officers underwent emergency surgery. Both are believed to be in stable conditions.

A third officer was not injured.

Brockwell had been serving a life sentence in the UK for a series of armed robberies, mainly from betting shops in the London area.

However, he absconded from a prison in Lancashire while on day release in February 2012.

He is described as 6ft 3ins tall with brown hair and a broad build.

Lancashire police have said Brockwell has connections in Scotland and Ireland and have described him as a dangerous individual

The Prison Officers Association (POA) has called for a full review of security in relation to prison escorts.

The association said it particularly wanted to know how Brockwell was allowed to leave Portlaoise Prison with the level of security he had.

POA president Stephen Delaney said the incident "highlights the difficult task of a prison officer every time a convicted prisoner is taken out of prison, and the potential for escape".

Irish state broadcaster RTE said Brockwell had previously been provided with an armed escort but that it was withdrawn in the last year.