Prisoner accused of escape attempt and knife possession

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A convicted prisoner has been accused of attempting to escape from the lawful custody of prison officers and being in possession of a scalpel knife.

Joseph Thomas Savage (34), whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry but who is understood to be originally from Belfast, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

He is charged with attempted to escape from lawful custody on April 19, 2015 and on the same date he is charged with possessing a scalpel knife as an offensive weapon.

The accused is further charged with assaulting a male prison officer occasioning him actual bodily harm and and assaulting a female prison officer.

From the dock, Savage confirmed he understood the charges and said he had no objections to the holding of a preliminary enquiry.

A prosecution lawyer said she believed there was a case to answer and defence solicitor John Murphy said he had no contrary submissions.

The accused replied “no” when asked if he wished to say anything in relation to the charges.

Mr Murphy said his client is a sentenced prisoner who is not due out of jail until 2018.

No further details were given to the court and Savage was remanded back into custody and had his case returned to Antrim Crown Court this month.


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