October 13, 2004 UTV Live
A Belfast judge today praised a have-a-go-hero pensioner who wrestled an armed robber to the ground.
Crown Court Judge Norman Lockie praised the 70-year-old as he jailed 28-year-old former soldier Richard David McCarten for 11 years after he agreed to spend a further year on probation after his release. Earlier the judge had heard that the plucky pensioner managed to hold McCarten in a headlock despite his loaded pistol going off.  Prosecution lawyer Peter Magill told the court that a Securicor guard was delivering a cash box to a bank on the Belmont Road in east Belfast when McCarten demanded "give me the f****** box" and pointed the modified pistol at him. He said that as McCarten left he turned to face the guard and again threatened him with the gun but added that as he went to walk away, the pensioner grabbed him in a headlock with McCarten declaring "I`ll shoot you, I`ll shoot you," and pointing the gun at his chest. He said that during the course of the struggle, the pensioner did receive injuries to his nose and eye as well as severe bruising to his left leg and side.

October 16, 2003 Irish Times
The Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) has called on the Minister for Justice, Mr McDowell, to state his intentions with regard to private prisons.  Its executive director, Mr Rick Lines, along with a UK expert on private prisons, Mr Stephen Nathan, met officials from the Department of Justice yesterday to discuss their concerns.  "The international evidence of prison privatisation shows that overall these schemes have failed to deliver on the promise of more cost-effective and efficient prisons," said Mr Nathan.  Speaking to journalists before meeting Department officials, he said there was no evidence that private prisons reduced recidivism, and in many cases they experienced more problems than public prisons. They have been characterised by staff shortages and inadequate programmes for prisoners.  He said there was an incentive to save money on food in private prisons. 

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