Rioter will spend 14 months in jail after playing part in fuelling a fire at Albany Regional Prison

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
A 22-year-old Pilbara man has received a 14-month prison sentence for his role in a riot at the Albany Regional Prison.
Camera IconA 22-year-old Pilbara man has received a 14-month prison sentence for his role in a riot at the Albany Regional Prison. Credit: Don Lindsay/Don Lindsay

A 22-year-old Pilbara man has received a 14-month prison sentence for his role in a riot at the Albany Regional Prison which caused about $85,000 damage.

Reekus Frank Tom Diamond, 22, appeared by video link in the Albany District Court on Monday, October 5 on a rioting charge to which he pleaded guilty in August.

State prosecutor Gary Huggins told the court on March 26 last year, Diamond participated in a disturbance in the prison designed to force the Department of Justice to transfer those involved to another prison closer to family.

Mr Huggins said Diamond and two co-offenders started collecting items including mop buckets, condiment bottles, clothing and bedding in preparation.

“This offender began throwing condiment bottles and mop buckets at the control room,” he said.

“When challenged by prison officers in relation to the activity, the offender and co-offenders verbally abused the prison officers and ignored requests to desist.”

A co-offender set a cell on fire, causing flames and thick smoke to emanate from the cell and into the yard, Mr Huggins told the court.

The three prisoners were later restrained by prison officers and the riot ended. The fire caused about $85,000 damage to the cell.

Diamond has been remanded in custody since August 13.

Mr Huggins said the State agreed he played the lesser role of the three as his co-offender started the fire.

Defence counsel Elizabeth Hamilton said her client wanted to get shipped to a prison in the north of the State, closer to his family and country.

Judge Christopher Stevenson said by bringing a blanket to put on the fire, he was fuelling it.

“The extent of your criminality is less. But it is still very serious because you obviously appreciated, when you retrieved the blanket and used it for the purpose that you did, that it was to fuel the fire, which increased the seriousness of the incident and increased the risk to those in the place,” he said.

Diamond’s sentence was backdated to August 13.

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