Derek Brockwell: Police launch Dublin manhunt for convicted robber after officers are stabbed

One officer is undergoing emergency surgery following the incident

A manhunt is underway tonight after a prisoner allegedly stabbed two prison officers and fled from a hospital in Ireland.

Derek Brockwell, 53, was being transported to Tallaght Hospital in south Dublin from the high security Portlaoise Prison for a medical appointment, when he made his reportedly violent escape.

During the incident at around 3pm, a prison officer who was guarding Brockwell was stabbed in the stomach with a knife, and is undergoing emergency surgery for serious injuries, according to a spokesman for the Irish Prison Service.

A second officer was stabbed in the hand, and possibly the face or neck. A third officer escaped the incident unharmed, but was left badly shaken.

It is thought that Brockwell, a British national who was handed 22 life sentences in the UK for armed robbery, was picked up by an accomplice who was waiting for him on a motorbike or in a car. It is understood that the pair then sped away from the scene.

Brockwell, who had appeared as a wanted man on BBC's Crimewatch, was two years into a seven-year sentence for armed robbery after he admitted holding up the Bank of Ireland in Blackrock, south Dublin, in October 2012.

He was also convicted of robbing a post office and a bookmakers, as well as for firearms offences in the Irish capital.

Brockwell landed in Ireland after failing to return to Kirkham Prison in England, where he was serving life for a series of offences but had been allowed out on day release for a work scheme.

He had carried out armed robberies on betting shops in London's Marylebone and Paddington areas during September and October 1999.

Described as being 6ft 3in with brown hair and a broad build, it is believed he has links with London, Glasgow and Ireland.

Gardai have launched a city-wide manhunt and said they were “anxious” to locate the prisoner.

A spokeman for the Irish Prison Service said: “A full investigation has commenced into the circumstances of this escape and the Director General of the Irish Prison Service has said that our thoughts are with our staff who have been injured in this serious incident.”

Additional reporting by PA