A mum who bit a prison officer when she was caught smuggling cannabis into prison for her son is at risk of being locked up herself, a judge has warned.

Apologizing, Audrey Donaghy appeared at Craigavon ​​Crown Court via video link to be told by Judge Roseanne McCormick QC that her behavior was disgusting.

Judge McCormick said that with the South Belfast woman’s refusal to do community service, ‘What does she really think is left in court?’

“I must say I regret biting under any circumstance, but the bite of a public official is something that will be dealt with severely,” the judge said.

“It’s a disgusting thing to do and if a dog bites someone else we know what happened to the dog, but doing that to someone engaged in public service is something I regret.”

The mother was due to be sentenced on Thursday for smuggling class B drugs into Maghaberry prison on January 10, 2019 and assaulting a prison officer on the same day.

His 24-year-old son Kyle, who appeared from his attorney’s office, had pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and assaulting the prison guard.

A lawyer said his mother “was seen handing him a package”.

“The visit was interrupted by prison staff (…) and Kyle Donaghy immediately put the package in his mouth,” they said.

The court heard Donaghy’s mother then bite another officer “on the forearm, breaking the skin”.

As Audrey Donaghy, of Clemintine Drive, was taken for an interview, her son was placed in a cell where staff waited for nature to take its course.

Later, it was discovered that the package contained 1.91 grams of herbal cannabis.

Having learned that the incident had been captured on CCTV, the judge said she wanted to see the footage.

It prompted this outburst from Audrey Donaghy: “It was me Your Honor…It’s my fault and I’m so sorry…”

His lawyer asked the court to stay the sentence Audrey Donaghy’s personal situation. The mother and son were released on bail.


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