Corrections officers bashed in riot

June 16, 2017 | By More

File image. © Andrew Bardwell

An inmate has admitted bashing prison officers in a riot at the Christchurch Men’s Prison in November.

Rawiri Graham Richardson, 26, was with a group of prisoners who allegedly attacked the officers after refusing to go back to their cells.

Defence counsel Lee Lee Heah said Richardson wanted to go to a restorative justice meeting with the Corrections officers, but they did not want to attend.

She said he had been treated severely in prison, including being transferred to the maximum security prison in Auckland.

Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier said that prisons managed themselves, and Richardson had violently offending against the prison officers. His alleged co-offenders had also been sent to Auckland.

Judge Tom Gilbert said he was sentencing Richardson on two charges of assault with intent to injure, and one of injuring with intent to injure.

On November 9 Richardson was in the prison yard with four other men. When they were told to go back to their cells an alleged co-offender punched an officer in the face as he was about to be searched. Richardson punched an officer in the head, and when he fell continued punching him.

He punched another officer in the face, and he lost consciousness, then struck another in the face, and punched him repeatedly.

Richardson kicked in the toilet door, and an alleged co-offender used a piece of wood as a weapon.

The three officers attacked by Richardson received facial swelling and bruising.

Judge Gilbert sentenced Richardson to two years three months prison, and said the parole board would set his release conditions when he had served his sentence.

Other men charged with rioting and assaults have pleaded not guilty and the case is to be heard as a judge-alone trial in Christchurch in September.


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