Violent prison assault trial begins

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 14/11/2012
Aaron Stephen Forden
ACCUSED: Aaron Forden in a 2008 file photograph.

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Five guards flanked a maximum security prisoner as his trial for assaulting another inmate began in Auckland yesterday.

Aaron Forden is accused of injuring Terry Jason Nahi with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in the high-risk prison wing at Paremoremo in August 2010.

The Crown said Forden stabbed Nahi in a planned attack which he and two other inmates co-ordinated.

Security cameras were covered before the scuffle, in which Nahi had boiling water poured on him and was stabbed in the head with a handmade shank.

In the Auckland District Court yesterday, Forden was handcuffed to a prison officer, while three others sat nearby. A court security guard was also present.

Judge Grant Fraser told the jury not to read anything into the presence of the officers.

He said every prisoner coming into court was accompanied by officers and was handcuffed.

In opening, Crown lawyer Scott McColgan said the attack on Nahi was all about "punishment and revenge".

Nahi was known as a trouble-maker and a bully on the landing on which the prisoners were housed, he said.

On the day of the attack, McColgan said Forden and two other prisoners - Jesse Ibell and Tamati Renata - waited outside Nahi's cell before Renata entered and threw water on Nahi.

Forden and Ibell then went into the cell where Forden stabbed Nahi above the eye with a home-made knife, or shank.

Nahi's skin was so badly burned it was peeling off his body, McColgan said.

Evidence will include CCTV footage of part of the incident and photos.

Nahi was due to give evidence yesterday from the remand centre in Christchurch, however, that was delayed until today after the video link failed.

A jury of nine women and three men will hear the case.

The trial is expected to last until the end of the week.

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- Auckland Now

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