Jail term increased after assault

"This cannot be dismissed as an occupational hazard," Judge David Robinson said, increasing the sentence of an inmate who assaulted a prison officer.

Boycee Linton Junior Karetu, 37, had pleaded guilty to assault — the charge laid under the Summary Offences Act.

Court documents said Karetu, a sentenced prisoner at the Otago Correctional Facility, was being supervised by the victim while using the phone, on June 24 last year.

Being taken back to his cell by the victim and other staff when the call ended, Karetu charged at the victim, swinging punches and hitting him multiple times in the upper chest area.

Two staff restrained Karetu by holding his arms and walked him back to his cell without further incident.

Counsel Brian Kilkelly said the assault was "lower end". However, he told the Dunedin District Court yesterday, there had been some consequence "of his own making" for Karetu. He had been transferred to Auckland Prison "where he is in maximum".

Karetu was sentenced to three months’ jail, cumulative on his current 28-month term.