Prison yard assault on officer admitted

File image. © Andrew Bardwell

A 21-year-old inmate is in custody awaiting sentence after admitting an assault that injured a Corrections officer at Christchurch Men’s Prison.

Terry Thane Daily admitted intentionally injuring the prison officer when he appeared by video-link from the prison, at the Christchurch District Court yesterday.

Judge Paul Kellar remanded him for sentence on October 18. He asked for a pre-sentence report but ruled out home detention by not asking for a report on Daily’s suitability.

The Crown said three inmates were involved in the exercise yard fracas with officers on November 26, and the other two have already been sentenced. One of the others – Taniela Kotoitoga Daven Tiako Waitokia, 18 –  is now serving a life term for the murder of an elderly Riccarton man.

The prison incident happened on a day when a new regime had been put in place. Only six prisoners were allowed in the outside yard, instead of the previous 15.

Another prisoner refused an instruction to let go of the door to the yard, so that it could be closed.

The two officers trying to close the door were approached in the yard by Daily and Waitokia.

Daily shoved one officer and began punching him in the side of the face. The struggle spilled inside the unit where Daily continued punching the officer before other officers got him under control. The Crown says the officer was also kicked.

The officer received ligament damage to his knee, cuts and swelling to his head and face, and he was later found to have a broken nose. He was off work until June.

Daily was not interviewed, but the Crown said he sent letters to family and friends from the prison in which he admitted the assault.

In June, Waitokia received a one-year concurrent jail term for his assault on the other officer.

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