Fam­ily in dark about pris­oner’s in­jury

Sunday Star-Times - - News - Ca­trin Owen

viewer num­bers for some US es­ports events are tipped to over­take au­di­ence fig­ures for tra­di­tional sports like Amer­i­can foot­ball in two years.

‘‘There’s a stereo­type of the gamer sit­ting in the base­ment never see­ing the sun but I don’t think that’s a fair one,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s some real pos­i­tives com­ing out of gam­ing as op­posed to so­cial me­dia, which ap­pears to Corrections has apol­o­gised to a pris­oner’s fam­ily after they took nine days to let them know he was in hos­pi­tal with bro­ken bones.

Mi­tai An­gell was in­volved in a blood­ied prison fight at Auck­land Prison at Pare­moremo in May 2017 re­sult­ing in a com­pound frac­ture to his left an­kle and a frac­ture of his right tibia.

Ac­cord­ing to reg­u­la­tions, a man­ager of a prison must in­form the in­mate’s nom­i­nated con­tact per­son or next of kin ‘‘promptly’’ in the event of a se­ri­ous ill­ness, se­ri­ous in­jury or the trans­fer of an in­mate from a prison to a hos­pi­tal, psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal or se­cure fa­cil­ity.

Corrections act­ing na­tional com­mis­sioner Ben Clark said An­gell’s fam­ily were no­ti­fied nine days after An­gell’s hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sion be­cause of a staff mem­ber’s mis­un­der­stand­ing of the op­er­a­tions man­ual.

‘‘Auck­land Prison’s prison director sub­se­quently apol­o­gised to Mr An­gell’s fam­ily for this mis­un­der­stand­ing and dis­tress caused to them,’’ Clark said.

The vi­o­lent in­ci­dent at the prison, re­sulted in charges against guards and in­mates, in­clud­ing An­gell who is await­ing sen­tence.

This year, three prison guards – Wiremu Paikea, Des­mond Faafoi and Viju Devassy – were all ac­quit­ted by a jury of var­i­ous charges in­clud­ing caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm, in­jur­ing with in­tent, and per­vert­ing the course of jus­tice.

An­gell and in­mates Sa­muel Hutchins and Trent Welling­ton ad­mit­ted wound­ing with in­tent to cause griev­ous bod­ily harm and ag­gra­vated as­sault.

Se­cu­rity footage played dur­ing the trial showed prison guard Faafoi kick­ing An­gell while he was re­strained, the Crown al­leg­ing it was a re­tal­ia­tory at­tack.

Auck­land Prison’s prison director sub­se­quently apol­o­gised to Mr An­gell’s fam­ily for this mis­un­der­stand­ing and dis­tress caused to them. Ben Clark

There are gen­uine ca­reer paths for peo­ple in es­ports. It would be al­most neg­li­gent not to en­gage with it. Mike Calvert

have al­most en­tirely neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions.’’

Those ap­ply­ing have to out­line their es­ports per­for­mance, in­clud­ing tour­na­ment his­tory, but Calvert said they want the re­cip­i­ent to demon­strate suc­cess in their wider stud­ies, and be an am­bas­sador of health and well­be­ing.

‘‘We want peo­ple . . . who will suc­ceed aca­dem­i­cally and who The footage shows An­gell ly­ing curled up, sur­rounded by var­i­ous Corrections of­fi­cers be­fore Faafoi kicked him in the head. The group were slip­ping in blood.

Dur­ing the trial, Faafoi claimed he had no mem­ory of the kick­ing be­cause he was in­jured dur­ing the as­sault.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence at the of­fi­cers’ trial, se­nior tac­ti­cal op­er­a­tions ad­viser Rob Hoogen­raad who has worked as a Corrections in­struc­tor in con­trol and re­straint for 14 years, ex­plained the re­straint meth­ods taught to of­fi­cers.

Hoogen­raad said Paikea had ap­plied a fore­leg lock dur­ing the in­ci­dent in May last year but said there was no need for it at the time as An­gell was un­der con­trol.

‘‘The level of force was ex­ces­sive and dis­pro­por­tion­ate.’’

Corrections said its records in­di­cated nurs­ing staff were alerted about five min­utes after the in­ci­dent be­gan and at­tended to An­gell about 23 min­utes later. An­gell was taken to the prison’s health cen­tre be­fore an am­bu­lance took him to hos­pi­tal.

Guards in­volved in the fight are still em­ployed by Corrections but re­main sus­pended from their po­si­tions.

An­gell’s fam­ily was con­tacted for com­ment but did not re­spond. might go to ca­reers in es­ports, but who also ac­knowl­edge the im­por­tance of stay­ing fit and on healthy.’’

Yeo­man in­tends to ap­ply for the schol­ar­ship to study com­puter science.

His par­ents sup­port his es­ports pas­sion: ‘‘They’ve al­ways sup­ported me as long as I put the ef­fort in at school.’’


Jay­den Yeo­man plans to ap­ply for Waikato Univer­sity’s es­ports schol­ar­ship val­ued at $5000.


Prison guards Wiremu Paikea, Des­mond Faafoi and Viju Devassy were ac­quit­ted ear­lier this year.

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