Burton prison attack video released

  • 19/02/2010

By Melissa Davies

3 News has obtained a videotape that gives a shocking glimpse into the world of the man who is probably New Zealand's most psychotic killer.

Even psychiatrists agree that Graeme Burton is a ticking time bomb, and the video shows him going off once again – this time inside Paremoremo Prison, and attempting to murder a fellow inmate.

Burton, a double murderer, was sentenced for attempting to kill fellow inmate Dwayne Marsh in December 2008.

In court today, lawyers for TV3 argued for access to that footage. The High Court judge agreed the public should be allowed to see it.

The footage was shot in Paremoremo Prison's D block. Burton is seen exiting his cell and, undeterred by his artificial leg, he lunges at fellow inmate Marsh and chases him down the hallway. As they come back, Burton seizes a 'shank' – a sharpened steel rod - and attacks again.

Sentencing Burton for attempted murder, the judge said Marsh had no chance.

"Prison offenders are in one respect more vulnerable than members of the public, since in the prison environment they have nowhere to run when faced with an attack in circumstances such as this," said Justice Tony Randerson.

"This was a potentially fatal attack, and but for the skilled intervention of the hospital surgeon [Burton] would have been undoubtedly been facing a further murder charge."

Burton pursued his victim up and down the hallway, stabbing him 27 times - one even pierced Marsh's heart.

Finally, guards arrive and pull him to safety.

At 39, Burton has more than 100 convictions, including two murders, robbery, kidnap and escaping prison. He is currently serving a 26- year sentence for the 2007 murder of Karl Kuchenbecher, which means he will face the parole board in 2033 at the age of 62.

Today, Justice Randerson sentenced him to another 10 years' preventive detention. It does not change when he will be eligible for parole, but police say it will make it much harder for him to get it.

"It's all that can be done under the current laws," says Detective Shane Page.

Burton's lawyer detailed what his punishment entails.

"He's in solitary confinement," says Peter Tomlinson. "He's in a cell on his own 23 hours a day, he has no company at all. He's taken by guards everywhere, three or four at a time. He doesn't get to do any courses, so it's not going to be easy."

Burton is considered to be too great a risk to others. Reports from psychiatrists say Burton has shown complete indifference to his situation.

Today his lawyer told the court that he does acknowledge the impact on his victims' families, but Justice Randerson told Burton it is too late to say that now.

"You have adopted, at least for the present, a 'don't care' attitude," he told Burton.

The psychiatrists say it is highly likely Burton will offend again.

3 News

source: newshub archive