A prison inmate referred to “jail house rules” applying after a violent incident in Christchurch Men’s Prison but he also accepted that he had gone too far in bashing another prisoner.
Christopher Allan Norman, 32, was now remorseful, said his defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger at his Christchurch District Court sentencing.
“He says he should not have done it and the victim didn’t deserve it,” Miss Bulger told Judge Paul Kellar.
The incident apparently arose from “some slight” expressed by the victim, said the judge.
Norman is already serving a four-and-a-half year prison term imposed in the Blenheim District Court in 2013 for arson, after setting fire to a house at Witherlea.
The Blenheim court heard how Norman had previously been sentenced to three years in prison for arson in 2004, and earlier in 2013 was admitted to an acute mental health clinic after setting fire to his own house following a relationship break-up.
Judge Kellar said the incident in prison happened on March 13. After the slight was said, Norman approached the other man and struck him in a cowardly way from the side and pushed him into a concrete wall.
When the victim sagged, Norman punched him about 10 times in the head and upper body.
The victim tried to protect himself beneath a table-tennis table but Norman kicked him about the head and pushed the table aside, goading the victim to come out.
Norman was still yelling abuse when staff arrived to stop the incident.
The injuries were relatively minor, said the judge. The man received abrasions to his right eye and the side of his head, swelling to the cheek, and a headache.
Even so, the attack had involved a considerable level of violence.
He noted Norman had 67 previous convictions and had served 15 prison terms for violence.
He was seen as a bright man, who had expressed remorse and pleaded guilty to the charge of intentionally injuring the other man.
The judge added an extra one year one month to the jail term Norman is already serving.