Jail boss suspended after ex-digger attack

The manager of a NSW prison has been stood down after a young Islamic State supporter allegedly attacked a former Australian soldier in a jail cell.


The 18-year-old allegedly carved “e4e” into his cell mate’s head, an apparent reference to the terror group’s “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” mantra, after lockdown at Kempsey prison on Thursday afternoon.

“As a result of that I have decided to suspend the general manager of the correctional centre pending the outcome of this investigation,” NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

“If you are radicalised and at risk of engaging in violent extremism, you need to be locked up.

“You need to be very highly controlled.”

Mr Severin said the teenager should have been placed in a high-risk management correctional centre and has now been transferred to one.

It’s alleged the 18-year-old also placed a towel over his cell mate’s face and poured boiling water onto him.

The 40-year-old former soldier was rushed to hospital with injuries to his head and sternum and burns to his face.

The teenager has been charged with causing grievous bodily harm and choking.

Mr Severin said the decision to stand down the prison manager was not taken lightly.

“We really have to make sure that not only do we have good procedures in place, but they’re adhered to.”

A full investigation into the management of radicalised prisoners will also be launched.

Corrections Minister David Elliott said he was outraged by the alleged attack.

“I will ask the Inspector of Custodial Services for a full and thorough investigation of the management of radicalised prisoners in the system, including the assault,” Mr Elliott said.

Public Sector Association spokesman Steve McMahon said the department hadn’t taken the alleged attacker’s extremist views seriously, and should have placed him in segregation.

“The 18-year-old, in our belief, had presented enough information and bad behaviour to have been segregated, or at the very least, been put in a single cell,” Mr McMahon said.

The charged teenager will face Kempsey Local Court on May 23.