More time for prison assault

By David Kavanagh | posted on September 6, 2019

AN inmate who carried out an “extremely violent” assault on his cellmate at Albany Regional Prison in May has had another two months added to his near five-year prison term.

Brendon Owen Belfield appeared in Albany Magistrates Court via video link last week and pleaded guilty to one count of assault occasioning bodily harm.

The court was told Mr Belfield attacked the victim, with whom he was sharing a bunk bed, on the evening of May 8 while the pair was watching television.

Prosecuting Sergeant Alan Dean said the accused jumped down from the top bunk of the bed after an argument broke out and struck the victim in the face and chest with his fists.

“The victim managed to press the cell’s call button,” Sgt Dean said.

“[He] was treated at Albany Hospital.”

Magistrate Raelene Johnston was shown photos of the victim’s injuries and described the attack as “extremely violent [and] prolonged”.

“It was a very extreme form of aggression … It was multiple uses of force on someone who was lying in bed and unprepared,” she said.

“You had no right to do what you did.”

Defence lawyer Richard Hickson told the court the two prisoners had been in an ongoing dispute for some time and noted that Mr Belfield had since been transferred to Casuarina Prison.

He said his client was already serving a sentence of four years and 10 months and was required to serve the entire sentence.

“Did Mr Belfield receive any punishment in prison?” Magistrate Johnston asked.

“Yes, your Honour. I spent one or two weeks in [solitary] detention,” Mr Belfield said.

Magistrate Johnston said that aside from the fact Mr Belfield had already received some punishment and had pleaded guilty at an early opportunity, there were “limited mitigating factors”.

“The only real consideration for reducing the sentence is you are already serving a lengthy term of imprisonment for other violent offences of a very different nature,” she said.

“[You are] not a first time offender.”

Mr Belfield received a two-month prison sentence to be served on a cumulative basis.