Sydney: Man arrested at Riverstone after dousing himself and police in petrol dies in hospital

15 March – A man known locally as ‘Bear’, who armed himself with a chainsaw and doused himself and police in petrol before being tasered and arrested, has died in hospital.

The 51-year-old was involved in a dispute with an energy company whose employees arrived to shut down the electricity at his home on Regent St, Riverstone about 11.15am on March 8.

‘Bear’ became hostile at the thought of losing his power and took a chainsaw outside and started cutting down a power pole near his house.

Police responded to the incident and the offender threw petrol over officers and himself as they were talking to him.

Officers then used OC spray and a taser, which ignited the petrol and set him on fire, before they extinguished him at the scene.

‘Bear’ ran back into his house and refused to come out, as police set up a perimeter before he surrendered after 45 minutes of negotiations and was taken to Westmead Hospital under police guard.

He was treated at Westmead Hospital for burns and charged by police during a bedside hearing with burning or maiming using a corrosive fluid, resisting or hindering police in the execution of duty and destroying or damaging property.

He was later moved to Concord Hospital but a NSW Corrective Services spokeswoman confirmed he died today.

“An offender being treated at Concord Hospital has died this morning,” the spokeswoman said.

“Police will prepare a report for the coroner who will determine the cause of death of the 51-year-old man.”

‘Bear’ was well known in Riverstone after living in the area for 15 years.

He owned at least eight rottweilers which were taken by council rangers at the time of the attack.

A police officer from Quakers Hill Local Area Command was injured during the incident.

He experienced petrol exposure to his eyes and was taken to Blacktown Hospital for treatment.

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NSW: Violent riot at Wellington Correctional Centre

11 March – Teargas was used to quell a fresh wave of violence that erupted yesterday in the state’s prisons, including a deliberate ambush of guards after two cells were set on fire.

The chaos occurred as the Baird government revealed it is considering new measures to ease prison overcrowding crisis including reopening the 580-bed Parramatta jail, which was shut in 2011.

“The government is considering a number of options to respond to the growth of the prison population,” Prisons Minister David Elliott said.

Public Service Union prisons boss Steve McMahon welcomed the idea: “Reopening Parramatta would bring some much-needed bed space and take pressure off other jails.”

The latest violence erupted at Wellington Correctional Centre yesterday afternoon as fires were set inside two cells. Guards who responded to fire alarms were assaulted by four prisoners who “came out swinging” as the doors opened.

The prisoners involved in the violence are said to be part of a Pacific Islander gang called the Outkasts, who have known links to bikies.

“The guards suffered some cuts and bruises but I’m told one of the guards gave as good as he got,” one source said.

Teargas was used to quell the violence, amid fears the four inmates may try to release other prisoners from cells.

“There was a further disturbance when staff were moving inmates due to smoke,” a Corrections spokesman said.

“Some staff and inmates were treated at the scene by Justice Health.’’

The violence at Wellington Correctional Centre is said to have involved a group of inmates moved to the jail after violence at Goulburn prison. Guards  used tear gas and live bullets, ‘as a warning’, to stop a brawl at Goulburn on January 26.

The state’s prison population rocketed above capacity to about 12,300 inmates last year, causing major backlogs in courts and police stations.

Goulburn: Prison escapee arrested following bed sheet escape

Goulburn Correction Centre

19 Aug – An inmate who used a sheet to scale a wall and break out of a New South Wales prison has appeared in court charged with escaping police custody and stealing a car.

Up to 20 police and the dog squad were involved overnight in the search for 28-year-old Stephen Jamieson, who is serving time in the maximum security facility in Goulburn for armed robbery.

Police said he was spotted driving a stolen ute on the Hume Highway at Marulan, east of Goulburn, just before 11:00pm.

Attempts to pull over the car were unsuccessful, and police pursued it.

Road spikes were used to stop the ute at Pheasants Nest, to the north-east.

Jamieson allegedly tried to flee, but was arrested nearby, police said.

Dressed in prison greens at a Goulburn court on Wednesday, Jamieson did not enter any plea to the charges, which included driving an unregistered or uninsured vehicle, driving without a licence and police pursuit (Skye’s Law).

His escape has prompted Corrective Services NSW to order a review of security arrangements in the prison’s maximum security section.

Corrective Services commissioner Peter Severin said the review, to be conducted by a New Zealand Department of Corrections security expert, would begin next Monday.

Jamieson had been in segregation after being identified as a suspect over the discovery of a man-made hole in the floor which was found in the prison earlier this month.

Mr Severin said Jamieson escaped after cutting through a metal gate at the back of a small secure exercise yard that is attached to each segregation cell.

“He was able to get out of that exercise yard and then he had a range of bed sheets that he tied together and was able to swing them over the wall to then effect his escape by scaling that wall,” he said.

“It appears that he also had a pillow [that was] put around his waist and enabled him to make good his escape over the razor wire.”

Jamieson had been in custody since 2013 and was serving 12 years in prison for armed robbery.

Officials emphasised the jail break did not occur at the High Risk Management Correctional Centre, known as Supermax, at the same Goulburn facility.

Australia: three stories about tasers

The NSW Coroner ruled that police were “reckless and excessive” and that five police should face disciplinary action in relation to the death of Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti, who died after police fired Tasers at him 14 times. The coroner said that police “threw themselves” into the confrontation “like schoolboys in Lord of the Flies” and recommended their actions be referred to the Police Integrity Commission. Curti’s family has welcomed that finding, but is pushing for criminal charges to be laid against the officers concerned.

Meanwhile the Queensland coroner has found no grounds for disciplinary action against north Queensland police officers who tasered a man 28 times. Antonio Galeano died at a home in Brandon, south-east of Townsville, in 2009 after being tasered by police. The coroner stated that he died from excited delirium, probably caused by drug use, although the Taser application also contributed to the 39-year-old’s death.

Footage has been shown on tv showing police on the NSW north coast using capsicum spray and their tasers on a 14-year-old boy who was hiding under a caravan. Kevin Henshaw, from Kempsey Aboriginal Legal Service, described the boy’s treatment as ” akin to torture. “

Hunter Valley: excavators burnt

31 July: Arsonists have torched three excavators, causing almost $1million in equipment damage and hindering work on the $1.7million Hunter Expressway project.

The excavators were discovered alight at a section of the project, near Averys Lane, about 8.40pm on Sunday night. Police and firefighters discovered two excavators ablaze, and a third already destroyed by fire.

The fire took several hours to extinguish safely, because diesel was fuelling the flames. A number of heavy vehicles parked at the construction site were also damaged.

NSW: Police sued over 2010 Yamba riots arrests

May 25: A GROUP of people – including six juveniles – who were cleared over the so-called Yamba riots is suing the New South Wales Police for millions of dollars in compensation.

A police truck was torched, another badly damaged and officers were pelted with bricks on an industrial estate just outside the north coast seaside town during a Valentine’s Day party in 2010 that attracted a mob of more than 100 people.

But when the case got to court, the adults were all acquitted and the police withdrew all charges against the juveniles after a magistrate criticised the police case as “too unreliable”.

The 16 are now claiming damages for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, assault and mental trauma. Continue reading “NSW: Police sued over 2010 Yamba riots arrests”

An anarchist response to the police murder at a Rainbow gathering near Tenterfield NSW

Indymedia: On April 16 Ryan Pringle, the 33 year old the son of a former Balmain rugby league star was shot to death by police at a rural commune called the “School of Happiness” in Northern NSW. The details of this sad day are not completely clear, but it seems that Ryan had arrived at the camp earlier that day, as a group called the Rainbow Family Australia was preparing for a 6 week gathering.

After some time at the commune he began acting in a violent and erratic manner, threatening Rainbow Family members with a knife in what some of the group described as a ‘psychotic episode’. Three of the campers fled the scene and drove to the nearby town of Tenterfield where they alerted police to the disturbance. Pringle reportedly threatened the remaining 10 campers for nine hours, apparently punching three of them, and dislocating one man’s shoulder.

After police arrived Pringle reportedly dropped his knife and fled into the woods before returning with a crossbow and demanding police drop their weapons. It is at this point police apparently opened fire, first with a taser then a firearm.

Of the police actions, the Rainbow Family made the following statement ”We would like to thank the police officers who came to our aid… That the media paint the police in a less than glorious light is an offence to decency. They were, and are, our champions and we are forever in their debt.” Continue reading “An anarchist response to the police murder at a Rainbow gathering near Tenterfield NSW”