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Prisoner's UFC moves 'sparked jail attack'

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 09:10 20/11/2012
Aaron Stephen Forden
ACCUSED: Aaron Forden in a 2008 file photograph.

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The prisoner attacked in a vicious assault at the country's most notorious cell block would knock out other inmates to show off his "ultimate fighting moves", a court has heard.

Terry Jason Nahi was the "main man" in Paremoremo's D Block when he was attacked with boiling water and hurt so badly his skin was peeling off, his accused assailant said.

Maximum security prisoner Aaron Forden had the judge and jury enrapt as he explained the inner workings of the maximum security wing yesterday, while giving evidence in his own defence at Auckland District Court. 

He is on trial on a charge of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. 

The Crown claims Forden used a lighter to attack Nahi, assisted by two other inmates, in August 2010. 

Forden's lawyer Ron Mansfield said his client was only trying to break up the fight so the inmates wouldn't lose their privileges.

Handcuffed to a guard, Forden told how Nahi had moved into the wing about two months after him.

On a landing where the prisoners were unlocked for only two hours a day and never allowed outside, instead spending the day "drinking cups of teas and coffees and sitting at the window", they got to know each other quite well.

Forden said he got on with Nahi, but said he was "a suspect" and he wouldn't trust him.

He said Nahi would steal other prisoners' food, would stare at them to try to intimidate them and bragged about his Mongrel Mob membership to gain credibility.

He also "pulled moves" on people, Forden said, explaining that UFC or "Ultimate Fighting Championship" was a big thing on D Block.

"He would show how quickly he could put people to sleep," Forden said. "Or show how he could snap their arm."

Nahi's victims included another prisoner involved in the attack, Jesse Ibell, and William Bell. Forden, one of the smallest on the ward, was not a target.

He told how if there was fighting in the wing, the prisoner's privileges - such as being allowed to buy biscuits from the prison shop and watching their own televisions - would get suspended.

"Privileges are what a lot of people rely on to keep sane and that," Forden said.

"Otherwise there's nothing else they might give you - no rehab or education or anything."

Worse, if there was particularly bad behaviour, the wing was "locked down" and the prisoners might not get out - even to have a shower - for three days, Forden said.

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Forden then went on to explain how prisoners heated up their water using a kind of home-made kettle made from pieces of metal wired to a plug. The "tea bombs" were banned, he said, and were often seized by guards.

Forden will continue giving evidence at the trial today.

- Auckland Now

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