Alleged prison bashing over tattoo gun left victim with ‘basketball-sized’ head after assault

Albert McKnight 16 March 2021
Alexander Maconochie Centre

A man was hospitalised after allegedly being bashed in the Alexander Maconochie Centre in 2018. Photo: File.

Details have emerged about an alleged prison bashing in Canberra’s jail, where two inmates are accused of entering another’s cell and bashing him as he lay unconscious in his bed after taking a sleeping pill.

Cedric Roberts and Brendon Walters have pleaded not guilty to charges of assault after they allegedly attacked the man in the Alexander Maconochie Centre over a dispute about a tattoo gun he was making.

In CCTV footage shown to the ACT Magistrates Court, the pair can allegedly be seen entering the man’s cell on 16 December 2018, after which their alleged victim was hospitalised.


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The alleged victim said he had no memories of the incident. The details were told to him by other people, including his cellmate Rhys Dugdale.

The victim gave evidence in court on Monday (15 March) but began to cry when discussing what he had been told happened to him.

“They absolutely treated me like a soccer ball,” he said.

He said Dugdale had told him that when he was asleep Walters, whom he called by the nickname ‘Bamm’, had allegedly kicked him in the face so hard his head hit the brick wall with a sound “just short of a gunshot”.

Dugdale told him the pair then allegedly pulled him off the bed, tried to break his arm by jumping on it, kicked him in the gut and “jumped” all over his face and body.

The alleged victim said earlier that Walters had entered his cell and was “a little bit hot and bothered” over a tattoo gun the man had allegedly agreed to make for the defendants.

He said he took the tattoo gun to show to Roberts, told him it was unfinished and said he himself would be the first to get a tattoo as he was the one making it.

He said he thought he would have taken a sleeping pill after lunch before going to lie down in his cell as was his routine, but he also repeatedly said he did not remember the events just before and during his assault.

“All I remember is waking up in hospital,” he said.

“I got told by other people that my head was the size of a basketball.

“I nearly died.”


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The alleged victim said he saw Roberts twice in 2019 while they were still in jail and claimed Roberts made comments to him that included “I should have murdered you.”

Earlier, Roberts’ barrister Jason Moffett from Key Chambers suggested he would argue the alleged assault was committed by Dugdale.

Under cross-examination from Mr Moffett, the alleged victim admitted that on the morning of 16 December, he had taken a dose of methadone, which he had regularly been taking to treat his heroin use.

Also, he said the sleeping medication he believed he ingested that afternoon was the medication Seroquel, which is used to treat schizophrenia, which he obtained from another inmate.

During his questioning, the man became antagonistic towards Mr Moffett, making comments like: “Rip and tear mate, let’s go.”

Special Magistrate Jane Campbell directed the man to return to court today (16 March) to continue the cross-examination.

The hearing is expected to last for several more days.


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