17 May 2010

Inmate charged with assaulting prison officer

5:37 pm on 17 May 2010

An inmate accused of assaulting a prison officer who later died has appeared in the Hamilton District Court and granted interim name suppression on Monday.

The accused has been charged with assaulting Jason Clint Palmer at Spring Hill Prison in north Waikato on Saturday.

The 21-year-old from Mt Wellington appeared in court flanked by a number of prison guards and was remanded without plea until 15 June.

His lawyer opposed any in court media photographs or filming and asked for the name suppression so his client could inform his family. Police did not oppose this request.

Mr Palmer, 33, died in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland after being taken off life support on Sunday.

A post-mortem is being held to determine the cause of his death.