Patrick Waru sentenced over stabbing attack on prison guards

11:18 am on 9 June 2017

An inmate who took part in a violent attack on six guards at Auckland Prison in Paremoremo has been sentenced to seven years and 10 months jail.

Exterior of Paremoremo Prison

Auckland Prison in Paremoremo Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Patrick Waru, 26, had earlier pleaded guilty to 13 charges relating to the incident, involving three other inmates, which happened in a gang-run wing of the prison last October.

At the High Court in Auckland, Justice Wylie said Waru had tied two shanks to his hands with bedsheets, and stabbed several officers in the head, face and neck with the makeshift knives.

Waru's lawyer, Annabel Maxwell-Scott said said it was "one frenzied, albeit serious attack" which lasted about one minute but thankfully the guards' injuries were not severe.

She said her client been out of jail for only two months since he was 16 and had told her he hoped to be a free man by the time he turned 40.

Ms Maxwell-Scott said the wing he was in was an unpleasant place, with around 12 Killer Beez gang members running the show and weapons were commonplace, largely for personal protection.

Justice Wylie said Waru, along with three other inmates, launched themselves on initially two, then six guards, during landing time, the period when inmates get time outside of their cells to stretch their legs.

In sentencing, he referred to three of the guards' victim impact statements, saying each had had to be hospitalised for their injuries and as a result of their ordeal no longer trusted inmates or wanted to build relationships with them.

The judge also spoke of referred to Waru's convictions resulting from his part in the Spring Hill prison riot in 2013, in which inmates caused $10 million worth of damage to the prison while drunk on hand sanitiser home brew.

The sentence will be served at the same time as of Waru's current sentence. No minimum non-parole period was set.