Twenty-minute wait after prison beating

  • 24/02/2016
Twenty-minute wait after prison beating

It took Corrections officers 20 minutes to help a convicted murderer after he had his head stomped during a vicious prison attack, a court has heard.

Nigel Lake, 32 and Stead Nuku, 23 were today sentenced to total of more than 12 years' prison for an attack at Auckland Prison in Paremoremo that left Nikki Roper with a fractured skull, jaw and arm.

Reading a description of the 2015 attack, Justice Mark Woolford told the High Court at Auckland that Nuku - who has a large swastika tattooed across the left side of his face - snapped one of Roper's arms before unsuccessfully trying to break his other and both legs during a one-hour exercise break in the prison's notorious D-block.

After Nuku left Roper lying on the ground, Lake began jumping on his face with both feet.

"This move you repeated three times," Justice Woolford said.

He said the men claimed the fight had broken out because Roper had been lying about being a Mongrel Mob member.

But he said when they realise Corrections staff weren't coming, Lake put Roper in the recovery position.

It took Corrections officers 20 minutes to arrive and assist him, he said.

Auckland Prison director Tom Sherlock said Corrections had reviewed its processes after finding out about the delayed response.

"Corrections investigated the incident and it was found that there was a delay in response. Once staff were aware of the assault, they responded immediately," he said.

"The Department has subsequently reviewed our processes to ensure a timely response to incidents."

Nuku was sentenced to 5 years and 9 months' prison and Lake to six years and six months.

Roper is currently serving a life sentence for the murdering ex-girlfriend Alexsis Tovizi in Christchurch in 2010.

During his trial in 2013, a court heard Roper either held Ms Tovizi's head underwater or put her in a sleeper hold until she died and then told her family she had run away.