Serco staff left Mt Eden prisoner bleeding on floor
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A prisoner beaten to near-death with a pool cue was ignored by Serco prison staff as he lay in a pool of his own blood, an investigation has found.
Kevin Mussard spent two weeks in intensive care in May last year after two vicious assaults by members of the Killer Beez gang while he was locked up in Auckland's Mt Eden Corrections Facility.
The second attack left him with a fractured skull, a brain bleed and 22 stitches.
While recovering in hospital a senior prison manager visited his room and accused him of being involved with the gang outside prison.
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Mussard, a joint French and Irish citizen who was deported in August after being released, complained to Serco but later contacted Corrections and the Ombudsman after an unsatisfactory response from the British company.
Serco was stripped of its Mt Eden management contact in June last year following a string of embarrassing revelations including organised fight clubs at the prison.
It continues to manage Auckland South Corrections Facility.
The findings by Corrections' chief inspector Andy Fitzharris reveal:
* Staff took an "inordinate" amount of time to attend to Mussard, with the first responding officer walking past and ignoring him lying on the ground.
* Serco cleaners cleaned the crime scene before police arrived.
* Mussard was placed in a mainstream unit despite requesting voluntary segregation, a blatant breach of Serco's contact.
* An investigation by Serco into the manager visiting Mussard in hospital did not address the allegations and the excuse provided was "weak".
In the report Fitzharris criticises Serco for a multitude of failings in its dealing with Mussard, particularly the failure to provide immediate medical care which he described as "an alarming lack of response and duty of care".
"My review of CCTV footage has raised major concerns about a lack (of) response by staff in the unit to Mr Mussard's injuries, and the quality of reporting regarding the incident on 17 May 2015.
"I strongly recommend that Serco review's this lack of response with a view of taking employment action against the staff concerned."
Fitzharris noted he had provided a copy of his findings to Serco, who had replied that it did not accept them.
Mussard said he was largely satisfied with the report, but was still unhappy with findings about his health management.
He was still suffering from anxiety and depression caused by the attack.
"Every time I look in the mirror the large scar on my temple reminds me of everything that happened.
"This attack could have been prevented. I shouldn't have been in the unit I was in...and let's not forget the harassment I suffered in intensive care by Serco management for reporting the incident."
Mussard said now that the man who had attacked him him with a pool cue had been sentenced he was free to pursue legal action against Serco.
Serco refused an interview request and did not answer any of the questions posed to them about Mussard's treatment, stating they did not comment on individual prisoners.
In a written statement communication manager Jane Palmer said service at Mt Eden had fallen below a level expected by the Government and the New Zealand public and an apology had been made for that.
"We regret every incident of violence which resulted in injury to a prisoner.
"We had a duty of care for all the prisoners held in MECF during our management and we acknowledge that we should have done more to ensure the safety of everyone in the prison."
Labour Party Corrections spokesman Kelvin Davis said he was unsurprised at the damning report or that Serco had disagreed with them.
"What sort of organisation are they that somebody can have the crap bashed out of them under their care and they just deny everything?"
- Sunday Star Times