Duncan Garner: Corrections owes more than an apology to Benjamin Lightbody

Opinion 03/02/2020

OPINION: What I am about to tell you should put the shivers up every parent, and this is why you don't want your boy going to prison.

Before you say "not my boy", it can happen. An accident becomes a crime and a breach of a protection order means jail time.

It happens.

Anyway his name is Benjamin Lightbody, the year is 2013, and he was brutally attacked in prison by a nutcase prisoner carrying a pool ball.

It left a massive hole in his head and continues to be a very serious head injury.

He has brain damage and life has significantly changed. I know Benjamin, I've interviewed him before, and the hole in his head is massive.

But what came next was equally disgraceful.

This is our public service and private prison company Serco at its very worst and its most negligent.

Their fat, arrogant, lazy, do-nothing approach makes me think the apology and compensation isn't enough.

I think someone ultimately in charge at Serco and Corrections at the time should be publicly held to account for doing nothing and for failing to provide the necessities of life. 

They left Benjamin for dead, they did nothing.  For three minutes he lay unconscious and slowly started to die. No one did anything.

If you think it can't get worse - it does.

Prison officials then stone-walled Benjamin's attempts to get video footage of the attack.

It was "lost or destroyed', preventing them from being fully held to account.

This poor response and cover-up is tantamount to corruption in my mind and those responsible should be before the courts - not hiding behind this clearly forced apology and small payout. 

It's a shameful episode and I hope it never happens again.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.