Otago inmate assaults prison officer

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 11:01 08/05/2014

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A prison officer needed hospital treatment after being punched in the head by an inmate at Otago prison, police say.

The incident happened 7am yesterday and the guard was later discharged Sergeant Dion Phair said.

Two other guards were treated by a doctor.

Otago Corrections Facility Prison Manager Jack Harrison said three staff were attacked in the incident but no weapons were used.

"One corrections officer was taken to hospital where his injuries [were assessed]. He has now returned home and will be off work recovering," he said.

"Two others were taken to the emergency doctor in Dunedin to be checked and [sent home]."

"Any assault on a staff member is extremely concerning, however serious prisoner-on-staff assaults are rare at Otago Correction Facility."

Since July 2013 there had been no serious prisoner assaults on staff, seven non-serious assaults and two no-injury assaults, excluding yesterday's incident, Harrison said.

That compared with no serious assaults on staff the previous year, five non-serious assaults and six no-injury assaults.

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