Bashed guard sues after 'enormous' violent inmate attacks
A SMASHED-UP prison officer unsuccessfully tried to sue the state for almost $700,000 after a big, foul-mouthed prisoner of "immense strength" bashed him and another guard.
Phillip Eastment was working at Maryborough prison in March 2009 when he came under attack.
The inmate, described in a judgment published online this week only as Prisoner X, had been in court two days earlier, for spitting at a different officer.
At work one Sunday, Mr Eastment saw Prisoner X punching a colleague in the head.
Brisbane District Court was told how Mr Eastment told the inmate to stop. Prisoner X turned on him, beating him too.
"I'm going to f*cking kill you. I told you someone would pay for this," the prisoner allegedly told Mr Eastment.
Eventually other officers came to the beleaguered guard's help, overpowering the inmate.
The court heard some prisoners would "take on 20 officers" and Mr Eastment described Prisoner X as "a very large man, of immense strength, with a violent history".
Mr Eastment said Prisoner X was waiting to ambush an officer that day.
He claimed $675,000 damages, saying the correctional centre was negligent and in breach of his employment contract.
Mr Eastment said staff who knew about an ominous court outburst on the Friday before the attack should have told the supervisor of the unit Mr Eastment was working in when he was bashed.
Another corrections officer, Officer Linnenlucke, wrote in 2012 that Prisoner X called her a "lying c*nt" two days before the bashing when she gave evidence at the court hearing.
But a recording of the hearing contained no audio of Prisoner X yelling or making threats.
And in oral evidence at the district court, Ms Linnenlucke could not recall the insults being yelled at her.
Regardless, Mr Eastment said the recorded transcript was an incomplete record of court events.
He said Prisoner X had good reason to be agitated that day because of complications with his court case.
And corrections authorities admitted Officer Linnenlucke told another colleague about Prisoner X's agitated behaviour.
Judge Nicole Kefford had to decide whether "a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury" from assault existed.
She was satisfied Prisoner X was appropriately assessed after the courtroom agitation.
"No evidence was adduced, or attempted to be adduced, that prisoner X's high security classification was wrong," Judge Kefford added.
She said Mr Eastment failed to prove a breach of duty, and failed to prove causation.
His claim was dismissed. -NewsRegional