Sick inmate plays violent video games
Steps were immediately taken to remove the prisoner’s access to the console’ CHRIS O’BRIEN-SMITH
A convicted murderer played violent video games while receiving cancer treatment in hospital, it has been revealed.
The prisoner, who Sunday News understands is David Jackson Mahia, is serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of mother-of-two Nicola Fleming.
Flemimg, 38, was found dead inside a room at an Invercargill hostel in 2013. She had been severely beaten, suffering a fractured face, pelvis, sternum and ribs.
Mahia, an inmate at Otago Corrections Facility, was taken to Dunedin Hospital where he received cancer treatment for about a month.
While in hospital, Mahia gained access to a Playstation console and played a violent and expletive-laden game, a source said.
When asked by a guard to turn the game down, Mahia allegedly threatened him, making references to his own ill-health and the fact he was serving life.
Corrections acting southern regional commissioner, Chris O’Brien-Smith confirmed a prisoner was facing ‘‘an internal misconduct charge for allegedly threatening a staff member’’.
That prisoner recently returned to prison after receiving cancer treatment in hospital, she said.
Justice advocate Roger Brooking told Sunday Newsthe incident raises questions on how Corrections’ monitor prisoners outside of prison.
O’Brien-Smith said any time a prisoner is required to be escorted outside a prison,‘‘our focus is on safety, security and minimising risk to the public, our staff and prisoners’’.
Any prisoner visiting hospital is accompanied by experienced corrections officers, she said.
She confirmed Corrections did not supply gaming consoles or games to prisoners.
However it came to the attention of the security manager that a prisoner had access to the item, and ‘‘steps were immediately taken to remove the prisoner’s access to the console’’.
Public safety was a top priority for the department and we ‘‘have a duty of care to meet prisoners’ health needs where medical, surgical, or dental assessment or treatment is not available inside prison’’.
A prisoner who resorted to violence would be held to account, O’Brien-Smith said.
The Southern DHB declined to comment on whether complaints had been received, and noted Mahia was not a current patient at Dunedin Hospital.