25 August 2021

Prison inmate fights accusations he caused a fire during a jail riot

| Albert McKnight
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Alexander Maconochie Centre

Keith Ernest Frank Carberry, 23, has faced court over a disturbance at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC). Photo: File.

A man charged with arson and other offences in relation to an incident at Canberra’s jail earlier this year has announced he will fight all charges laid against him.

ACT Policing said emergency services had been called to the Alexander Maconochie Centre on 12 May 2021 after detainees began “causing a disturbance” in a remand unit at the jail.

“The incident lasted several hours and resulted in extensive damage to the centre,” police said.

Police charged two 23-year-old men over the incident.

READ ALSO Jail cell arsonist sentenced over fire lit during Black Summer

The first to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court, Keith Ernest Frank Carberry, joined the court over audiovisual link from jail on Tuesday (24 August).

His lawyer Sam Lynch, who said he was only appearing in the matter on a duty basis, entered not guilty pleas to Carberry’s charges of arson, resisting a Territory official, damaging property and affray.

Magistrate James Stewart said Carberry would be remanded in custody and adjourned the matter to 5 October for a pre-hearing mention.

Region Media has previously reported that the alleged riot on 12 May involved up to 28 detainees and damaged one accommodation unit.

READ MORE Fires lit during AMC riot on 12 May forces guards to use gas

At the time, a Justice and Community Services (JACS) spokesperson said the riot started after a number of detainees began behaving aggressively and not complying with officers’ directions.

Capsicum spray had to be used on one occasion.

“There were no reports of injuries to staff,” the spokesperson said.

“All detainees involved were medically assessed before being re-housed and no one required hospital admission.”

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“Region Media has previously reported that the alleged riot on 12 May involved up to 28 detainees and damaged one accommodation unit.”

Alleged riot? 28 prisoners destroying an accommodation unit – what is RA’s definition of a riot?

All crimes – including riots – are alleged until such time as they are proven in a court of law. Until someone has been convicted of the riot or something associated where the word riot is used either in the charge or the judge/magistrate’s findings, it remains an allegation, no matter how much it looks like the word applies.

Hi RuthB – I understand where you were coming from and I tend to agree in certain circumstances. And I did give an educated, measured, mature response to your comment about why I think it occurred.

However, the moderator decided not to publish my comment.

Just letting you, and everyone else on RA know that it was neither controversial nor offensive.

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