Prisoner threw scalding water at Johnny Sandhu

A man who admitted assaulting jailed Londonderry solicitor Johnny Sandhu in Magilligan prison has been jailed for ten months.

Tuesday, 12th November 2013, 11:41 am
Press Eye - Belfast Northern Ireland - 26th May 2009 - Picture by Jonathan Porter/ - Solicitor Manmohan 'Johnny' Sandhu from Derry arrives at Belfast Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to four charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The charges against the 45-year-old relate to covert police recordings of interviews the solicitor had with terrorists suspects in Antrim police station. Mr Sandhu was remanded in custody to appear for sentencing next Wednesday.

Francis Paul McNally, from Mount Vernon in Belfast is already serving 11 years for explosive offences.

The 26-year-old pleaded guilty to assaulting the former solicitor on December 13, last year.

Londonderry Crown Court heard on Friday that at 6.35am Johnny Sandhu had left his cell and made his way to the shower area. He passed McNally and they greeted each other.

After taking a shower McNally threw the contents of a flask of boiling water at the fomer solicitor. The 26-year-old then attacked Sandhu and had in his possession a knife made from sharpened plastic.

During interview McNally admitted possessing the knife and assaulting the former solicitor, but when asked why he had done it he replied, ‘no comment’.

Defence counsel Terry McDonald said that McNally believed that Johnny Sandhu had encouraged someone else to attack him and that was why he had acted as he had.

Jailing McNally for ten months, Judge Philip Babington said that it was ‘a cowardly attack for really no reason.’

Sandhu, 48, and from Colby Avenue in Derry, was jailed for 10 years in 2009 when he pleaded guilty to inciting a loyalist paramilitary to murder a taxi driver. He also admitted to perverting the course of justice and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.