Sunday, February 18, 2007

The following story is from the national news and suggests a chilling echo of the prison van murder of 17 year old Liam Ashley some months ago. There has to be a shake up of the Corrections Department after this latest controversial act as reported below. The National Party when in government, formed the Corrections Department from the Justice Department some years ago. Whether that was a short sighted decision is hard to say, but it is obviously not working satisfactorily at present and needs an enquiry. There have been a variety of criticisms about the department, and the running of prisons in its care - we would believe that drugs are rampart in New Zealand prisons. So Prime Minister Helen Clark and her Cabinet will have to hold an enquiry very soon, and John Key and his cohorts will have to be very retrospect in their criticisms of the running of the Corrections Department. Time will tell, no doubt! Please read on:

Police are investigating the alleged rape of a minimum security prison inmate by a notorious double-rapist gang member after the two men were put in the same cell.
The case chillingly echoes the prison van murder of teen Liam Ashley.
The victim of the Waikeria Prison alleged rape is a slightly built European man in jail on dishonesty offences, including credit card fraud.
His attacker is said to be Black Power gangster William Wii Katipa, 41, who has been convicted of two rapes, aggravated robbery, threatening to kill and assault. He has spent much of his adult life in prison and committed a number of the offences while on parole or bail.
A prison source said: "They never should have been put in the same cell. (The alleged victim) was a minimum security prisoner but was put in a cell with a dangerous prisoner who had a high-medium security rating the second-highest security rating in the system.
"(The alleged victim) had asked to be transferred from Waikeria to (lower security) Rangipo Prison but was told by prison staff that he was facing more charges and he had to stay at Waikeria."
He learned later - after the alleged rape - that there were no more charges, said the source.
The minimum security inmate - understood to have been suicidal since the alleged attack - had said he was raped by Katipa in the cell on two separate occasions last October, according to the source.
The fraudster said the gang member - jailed for raping a teenager and now serving an indefinite sentence for raping a woman in front of her young daughter - blocked the peep-hole into the cell before sexually assaulting his cell-mate.
He said while he was being raped, a prison guard doing rounds challenged the Black Power member about the blocked peep-hole but continued his patrol when told the gang member was going to the toilet.
"The bottom line is, somebody didn't do their job and put this guy in harm's way," the source said.
"It's like another Liam Ashley."
The jail rapes allegedly happened less than six weeks after 17-year-old Liam was bashed and strangled to death in the back of a Chubb prison van by hardened 25-year-old criminal George Charlie Baker last August 24.
Liam was placed in a compartment with the violent Baker, despite explicit Corrections regulations designed to keep adults and youths apart.
The source said the alleged rape victim, a 27-year-old from a middle- class background, made an official complaint to prison staff and police. He was examined by a nurse and swabs were taken for DNA evidence.
"When he went back to the prison, the staff put him in another wing. He was suicidal at one stage and didn't like mixing with other prisoners because he was scared."
The alleged victim, also understood to have written to the Parole Board, the Ombudsman and the Inspector of Prisons, has since been transferred to Rangipo.
Cambridge police detective Rob Woolerton confirmed an investigation had begun into the prison rape allegations.
"We did receive a complaint, which is still under investigation," Woolerton said. "We hope to complete it in a couple of months."

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