Taxpayers to foot bill for violent prisoner court case
A HIGH-RISK prisoner accused of violent and sexual assaults against other inmates is back with the general prison population after a judge set aside a maximum security order made against him, with taxpayers to foot the bill for his legal action.
Carl Anthony McLaren, 39, had been sentenced to 10 years and four months in prison for of house-breaking and armed robberies with violence.
McLaren is due to be released on August 4.
McLaren was given a high security classification at Maryborough Correctional Centre in July 2012 and detained in a secure unit.
In October 2012, McLaren received a letter telling him he had been issued a maximum security order because there was a high risk of McLaren "killing or injuring other prisoners or other persons with whom you may come into contact".
The letter said this was supported by intelligence information received.
The Queensland Supreme Court heard that on October 9, 2012, McLaren had been in the prison exercise yard, anticipating a transfer from the unit and farewelling other prisoners.
He was standing close by when a friend of his allegedly attacked and killed another inmate.
McLaren said he was not otherwise involved.
On October 22, 2012, McLaren's security classification was changed from high to maximum.
A second maximum security order was later taken against McLaren, alleging he presented a threat to other prisoners.
When a third maximum security order was sought in September last year, the court heard correctional services authorities referred to incidents McLaren was alleged to have been involved in during 2005 and 2006, including the sexual assault of other prisoners and violent assaults against inmates.
Judge David Jackson acknowledged the information provided to corrective services officers was confidential and disclosing information could increase the risk of retaliation against the person who provided it.
But he said McLaren could not make a meaningful response to the allegations against him because adequate information was not disclosed to him.
Judge Jackson said arrangements could be made for the "separation and protection of prisoners to manage such risks".
Further, some of the submissions made against McLaren - including one unattributed statement which accused McLaren of participation in the multiple murders of inmates - were unsupported by evidence.
Judge Jackson found McLaren had been denied procedural fairness, set aside the third maximum security order and ordered Corrective Services to pay McLaren's legal costs.