Five inmates did something never done before at CQ prison
FIVE Capricornia Correctional Centre inmates did something that has never been done before - broke out of the detention unit at the Etna Creek facility, reserved for dangerous or disruptive prisoners.
Judge Michael Burnett, while handing down sentences for three of the inmates today, said the unit featured cells with a window in the door covered by a steel grill welded to the door and each cell had a security camera.
"Prior to these events, no prisoner had escaped via these cell doors," Judge Burnett said.
Three of the five inmates were sentenced in Rockhampton District Court on Monday for their roles in a riot at the prison in October 2019, with one having being sentenced in June and the final defendant expected to be sentenced by the end of the week.
Anthony George Denis Butler, Clifford John Kemp and Oren Thomas Davies each pleaded guilty to one count of riot in a correctional facility.
Butler, 25, also pleaded guilty to one count of serious assault, contravene police direction, organise to oppose authority, possess tainted property and two of possessing dangerous drugs.
Davies, 20, also pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a corrective services officer.
Judge Burnett said the fifth inmate covered his cell security camera at 2.03pm on October 30.
Butler's camera was covered next and then the two inmates appeared at Kemp's screen in the door.
The court heard Kemp, 29, kicked at the screen and the other two returned with makeshift tools.
Alastaire Bevan Pope, who was sentenced in June, was the next inmate to cover his camera and then Kemp was the final inmate to escape their cell, at 2.54pm.
Once the inmates escaped, they made their way to the roof and the alarm was raised for a Code Black and the prison was locked down.
"You each armed yourselves with makeshift weapons," Judge Burnett said.
The court heard Butler and the fifth inmate climbed down a ladder; Butler holding a scaffold pipe and the other armed with a piece of timber.
Corrective service officers directed the pair to put their weapons down.
They responded with threats to harm if the officers did not step back, and threatened to kill them with the piece of wood being swung around as if to hurt.
The officers retreated with one slipping and injuring their knee.
Meanwhile, Pope took flight into a different direction in the prison compound; with Davies and Kemp armed and walking towards corrective services officers.
Davies struck an officer in the left rib cage.
"He saw blood on his forearms," Judge Burnett said.
The dog squad arrived with Kemp and Davies surrendering and handcuffed.
However, the other three ended up on the roof for three hours.
This was not the first time Butler had been in trouble at the prison that month.
He had received a call on October 12 and afterwards, he demanded be taken back to his cell - which goes against the centre's policy.
Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said after being refused, Butler became aggressive, forcing staff to close the roller door to the station.
"Due to his aggressive behaviour, other prisoners started to act out," she said.
"The defendant did not actively encourage their behaviour."
Butler approached the closed roller door and tried to force it open and staff were evacuated as a result of that.
He then armed himself with a broomstick, which was captured on CCTV, and a Code Black was declared.
Butler told police, who attended the prison, that he had wanted to go back to his cell to calm down after the phone call upset him.
Butler, who had an eight-page criminal record, had been taken back into custody after reoffending while on parole for a three-year prison term for a four-month crime spree resulting in 111 charges including multiple burglary offences and one of dangerous driving.
Defence barrister Scott Moon said Butler was raised by his father and his home was marred by violence, leading to Butler living a transient lifestyle and living on the street.
"His life up until now has been a disaster," he said.
The court heard Davies had spent more time in prison than out of it during his life, starting marijuana use at age 11 and introduced to MDMA and cocaine when he was 21.
Davies had been serving a three-year prison term handed down in September 2019 for armed robbery with violence and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
He used a baseball bat to threaten a female friend in order to get her car. He struck her and pushed her out of the car when she refused.
Read more here: Oren Thomas Davies fried and f***** up on drugs robs friend
Davies had been released on parole, however, due to failing to engage, breaching curfew and failing drug tests resulted in his parole being suspended in May 2020.
His barrister, Jordan Ahlstrand, said Davies had multiple mental disorders including intellectual impairment and ADHD, as a result of his drug addicted mother consuming drugs while she was pregnant with him.
He said Davies' mother was addicted to methamphetamines and was now hospitalised with an illness aggravated by her prolific drug use.
Mr Ahlstrand said his client had begun using marijuana at a young age and progressed to meth at age 11, injecting daily by the time he was 15.
He said Davies had also spent time living on the streets, but had managed to complete Grade 11 through the Flexible Learning Centre in Townsville, along with completing his Responsible Service of Alcohol and Responsible Service of Gambling.
Kemp was serving multiple sentences at the time of the riot.
Defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco said Kemp, who had a 13-page criminal record, had received a wake up call having spent the most time in prison in his life to date due to his latest round of offending and wanted to get out of prison, get a job and reconnect with his two children.
Judge Burnett ordered the following sentences:
Butler - 14 months prison, cumulative on the sentence he was serving at the time of the riot, with 117 days presentence custody declared and parole eligibility set for August 29, 2020.
Davies - 18 months sentence, cumulative on the sentence he was serving at the time of the riot, three days presentence custody declared and parole eligibility set for February 23, 2021.
Kemp - 10 months prison, on the sentence he was serving at the time of the riot, and parole eligibility set for November 23, 2020.