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Threat over the phone earns prisoner more jail time

IN PRISON, Alexander James Heike was a regular caller to the Department of Housing.

He conned staff to put him through to unauthorised numbers of family and friends, claiming the numbers he was giving department staff were those of the Wynnum Youth Justice Service.

But when he was told his housing commission home had been declared abandoned and he'd lost his belongings, Heike "lost the plot."

He began abusing the staff member on the other end of the line.

Heike told the department worker, who knew she was speaking to an inmate but didn't know his offence, he was jailed for murder and when he "beat it", he would be coming for her.

He pleaded guilty at the Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday to two counts of illegally diverting a phone call in a prison to an unauthorised number, and using a carriage service to menace.

The court heard from April 14 to 28 Heike was imprisoned in the Brisbane Correctional Centre in Wacol, before being transferred to the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre north of Gatton.

From both jails he called the Department of Housing a total of 56 times. On occasions he asked if he could be transferred through to the Wynnum Youth Justice Service, telling the operator he had the direct number.

However, the numbers he gave were in fact for his friends and family, who had not been checked and approved by prison staff.

On April 30 Heike called the department about his housing commission home. It had been declared abandoned and he was told his belongings, including photos of his deceased parents, were gone.

Defence lawyer Vince Knox said this was when Heike "lost the plot".

Mr Knox said it was the loss of his belongings that set Heike off.

Magistrate Andrew Cridland said it was understandable the department staff member on the phone was terrified by the threat.

"If you get a call from someone you know is in prison but don't know why, and they say, 'I'm in here for murder and I'm going to murder you', they'll be rightly terrified," he said.

He sentenced Heike, who is still behind bars, to nine months prison with a parole release date of October 15. He will be placed on a $1000 good behaviour bond for 18 months.

Topics:  ipswich magistrates court, using a carriage service to menace and harass



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