An in-debt inmate was brutally bashed in Canberra’s jail, including having boiling water poured over him in what is called a ‘jugging’, and suffered from the pain in silence for some time afterwards as he had been threatened not to report the assault.
Norman Collier, 28, pleaded guilty to a charge of recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm over the attack before he was sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court in February.
In sentencing remarks by Justice Michael Elkaim, he said the future victim owed one of Collier’s associates some money.
He said that the associate was also Collier’s creditor and had persuaded him “perhaps somewhat forcefully” to put pressure on the victim over the debt.
On 4 October 2020, Collier followed his victim into his cell in the Alexander Maconochie Centre and hit him in the head, knocking him to the ground. He also kicked him in the head and poured boiling water over him.
Before leaving, he threatened the man about reporting what happened.
“The victim obeyed, but the burns to his body blistered overnight and he sought assistance,” Justice Elkaim said.
He was taken to hospital with a facial fracture, bruises, as well as second-degree burns to 30 per cent of his body and will likely have permanent scars.
“Offences that occur in a prison, as a matter of public deterrence, almost automatically require a harsh result,” Justice Elkaim said.
“Victims are essentially trapped within the walls of the prison in company with their assailant.
“In addition, threats, as in this case, are often made to secure the silence of the victim who knows that he or she will remain in close proximity to the attacker.”
Collier, who was born in Queanbeyan and has worked in the construction industry, was already serving a sentence for other matters that would have ended in January 2023.
For the assault, Justice Elkaim sentenced him to three years’ jail to be suspended after two, which means he can be released in January 2025 if he enters into a 12-month good behaviour order.