Violent thug ‘rewarded’ with prison move
A VIOLENT prisoner who "nearly killed" an officer, leaving him with a broken nose, cheek, eye sockets and jaw, has now been moved out of maximum security, despite protests from staff about safety concerns.
As a 17-year-old in 2014, Brian Lafaitele ran over a police officer in a stolen car in during a wild two-hour high-speed chase south of Brisbane.
Four years later, he beat prison officer Greg Sands so badly he had to "drink his food" for months, endured several surgeries and may never return to work.
The savage bashing resulted in Lafaitele being given an extra year added to his non parole period. He became eligible for parole last month.
This week, The Courier-Mail revealed plans were underway to move Lafaitele from Woodford's maximum security unit to Borallon's detention unit, which officers believe is the beginning of his reintegration into the prison's general population.
"Staff are concerned he will assault again," a prison source said.
"It will be - almost kill an officer and get rewarded and sent to Borallon."
It is understood Lafaitele has now been moved.
Opposition Police and Corrective Services spokesman Dale Last said the move showed "complete disregard" for the "hard working men and women in Queensland's prisons".
"We are not talking about someone who forgot to pay a parking ticket here," he said.
"This is a criminal who hit a police officer with a vehicle, engaged in a high speed pursuit and also seriously assaulted a prison officer. He is a violent offender."
"Instead of standing up for a person who went to work every day to protect Queenslanders, the Labor government has put the offender first. No wonder morale among corrective services staff is so low.
"Queenslanders deserve to know why the well-founded fears of prison staff were ignored in favour of reintegrating a violent offender into the general prison population."
Mr Sands posted about the move in a social media group.
"It's two years now and I still have not recovered and I will never fully recover," he wrote.
"I could not see for nine days and had to drink my food for three months.
"But you know what really cuts me deepest (to) this day?
"Seeing my children pale, crying, shaking in the ICU. Seeing their dad who they cannot recognise and not knowing is he was going to live or die.
"To this day, that thought rips my guts out and probably will forever."
Originally published as Violent thug 'rewarded' with prison move