Prison guard in­jured in bru­tal at­tack

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A bru­tal at­tack at Aro­hata prison that left a guard with post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der has ex­tended the at­tacker’s jail term by more than two years.

Jody Hood, 30, of Up­per Hutt, was sen­tenced at Porirua Dis­trict Court last Tues­day to 27 months in prison for the at­tack on a se­nior cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer last Oc­to­ber 12.

That af­ter­noon, pris­oner Hood had been due to move to a dif­fer­ent wing in the Tawa women’s prison. An­other pris­oner raised con­cerns with the guard, say­ing she was con­cerned about her safety if Hood moved to her wing.

A meet­ing be­tween the three was held in a guard’s room, and quickly de­scended into vi­o­lence.

Hood ver­bally abused her fel­low pris­oner be­fore throw­ing punches and grab­bing her hair.

The guard stood be­tween the two, pro­tect­ing the at­tacked pris- oner with her body and re­ceiv­ing some of the blows. Hood then picked up a cof­fee mug and be­gan swing­ing it at the pris­oner, again hit­ting the guard. Her next weapon was a ce­ramic soup bowl.

Prison staff and other pris­on­ers soon came to break up the fight, at which point all three women fell to the floor. The guard was knocked un­con­scious and was taken to hos­pi­tal by am­bu­lance.

Much of the guard’s body was hurt and bruised, and an in­jury to the bridge of her nose made breath­ing dif­fi­cult, Judge Jan Kelly told the court.

‘‘Her whole body felt like it had been bat­tered.’’

The guard’s main con­cern was she couldn’t feel whether her head was in­jured – brain surgery fol­low­ing a haem­morhage in 2005 had left the back of her head numb, Judge Kelly said.

The guard re­turned to work part-time for sev­eral weeks with­out hav­ing con­tact with pris­on­ers, but de­vel­oped post- trau­matic stress dis­or­der and has since been off work on ACC.

‘‘Your of­fend­ing se­ri­ously af­fected her per­sonal feel­ing of safety and it’s on­go­ing,’’ the judge told Hood. ‘‘Prison of­fi­cers have the right to ex­pect to be safe in their work­places.’’

Hood has 72 pre­vi­ous con­vic- tions, seven of them for vi­o­lent of­fend­ing. She showed no re­morse for her at­tack, Judge Kelly said.

‘‘You said the vic­tim was ex­ag­ger­at­ing the im­pact so she would not have to work.’’

In her favour, Hood pleaded guilty just be­fore a de­fended hear­ing, sav­ing the guard from hav­ing to give ev­i­dence, Judge Kelly said.

Hood’s lawyer, So­nia This­toll, ar­gued she had been reg­u­larly at­tend­ing church in prison and was sup­ported by Elim church pas­tor Ken Roach.

‘‘She’s been heal­ing over the year,’’ Ms This­toll said.

Hood’s vic­tim was present in court, sup­ported by six col­leagues.

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