Monster may be ‘unleashed’ despite nearly killing guard
A prisoner who bashed an officer to "within an inch of his life", leaving him with a broken nose, cheek, eye sockets and jaw, could soon be released from maximum security and moved to a training prison.
Officers are furious there are plans to "reward" Brian Lafaitele with a move to Borallon Training and Correctional Centre and believe it's the first step to him being reintegrated into the general prison population.
Lafaitele was arrested in 2014 after he hit and injured a police officer during a wild two-hour high speed chase south of Brisbane.
He was originally charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty in 2016 to more than a dozen charges, including acts intended to resist or prevent lawful arrest, three counts of dangerous operation of a vehicle and assault or obstruct a police officer.
He was sentenced to five years jail, which he has served at Woodford Correctional Centre.
While serving that sentence, he viciously bashed prison officer Greg Sands in December, 2018 after being told he would be sharing a cell with another inmate.
Lafaitele kicked and punched Mr Sands repeatedly, resulting in the prison officer being flown to hospital where he had multiple facial reconstruction surgeries.
Lafaitele was charged with grievous bodily harm and had an extra year added to his non parole period. He has spent the past two years at Woodford's maximum security unit.
Mr Sands has been unable to return to work and says he "will never fully recover".
Prison sources said staff are worried Lafaitele will attack again if he is moved to a less secure unit at another jail.
"Staff are concerned he will assault again," one said.
"The plan is to reintegrate him into the prisoner population.
"It will be - almost kill an officer and get rewarded and sent to Borallon."
In a post he shared yesterday to a Facebook group for correctional officers, Mr Sands said he would never fully recover from the injuries Lafaitele inflicted on him.
"From day one I separated myself from what happens to this prisoner because no matter what punishment he got, it would never be enough for how he, that day, changed the lives of my family and myself forever," he wrote.
"It's two years now and I still have not recovered and I will never fully recover.
"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."
Michael Thomas from Together Union said they had "significant concerns" about the planned move and had urgently contacted Queensland Corrective Services about it.
"We have significant concerns that the prisoner is still a risk," he said.
"Our members are telling us that they don't believe he is safe at this point.
"There are safety concerns regarding both our members and other prisoners.
"We have raised those concerns with the department and are seeking an urgent response."
Lafaitele became eligible for parole in February.
A QCS spokeswoman said while they do not discuss the movements of individual prisoners, such decisions are "very carefully considered, with input from officers, multidisciplinary teams including health experts".
"Transitioning MSU prisoners to lower classification accommodation is always accompanied by an Intensive Management Plan, which identifies triggers and strategies to proactively manage the individual," she said.
"QCS has an obligation under the Human Rights Act to regularly review and assess prisoners who are held in restrictive conditions such as MSUs to ensure their incarceration is appropriate and legal."
Originally published as Prison monster may be 'unleashed' despite nearly killing guard