By Carla Penman


A former inmate who lost a third of his skull in an assault at Mt Eden Prison, hopes newly released footage will finally get him an apology and compensation.

Benjamin Lightbody was struck in the side of the head with a pool ball in a sock while on remand at the then-Serco-run prison in 2013.

He suffered a serious brain injury and has since had four operations - with a fifth set to happen in April next year.

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"These last four years ... every single day has been a struggle.

"Every single day I wake in the morning ... it's a struggle to get out of bed, it's a struggle to make breakfast or go for a walk with my head like this."

The new footage, that he chose to release publicly on Wednesday, shows Lightbody being hit, then lying on the ground, bleeding, for several minutes - and nobody, not even the guards, coming to his aid.

Benjamin Lightbody was assaulted in Mt Eden prison 2013. Photo / Supplied
Benjamin Lightbody was assaulted in Mt Eden prison 2013. Photo / Supplied

It then went on to show him drag himself off the ground and stagger off camera to his cell.

He lay in his cell for nearly two hours before a prisoner alerted a guard.

A Corrections investigation found that after the guard was told about the assault, he made himself a hot drink and something to eat - and it wasn't until 32 minutes later, that an ambulance was called.

Lightbody says he had just been placed into a new unit for good behaviour before the unprovoked attack happened.

"I went to my cell, put my stuff away ... Was there about 10 or 15 minutes. And then I walked out into the yard ... And then was just waiting for my turn on the weights system.

"In the footage that was deleted that I saw originally, there [were] two guys hanging around behind me and one holding a pool ball ... this footage was deleted.

"And then [in this footage] one of the guys ... came up behind me and hit me on the back right-hand side temple and just smashed my skull ... And I was out and don't really remember much after that."

He believes he had done nothing to deserve such a brutal blow to the head and that perhaps nobody came to his aid because they were intimidated by the inmate who struck him.

Lightbody says he got "a little bit angry" when he first got hold of the footage about nine months ago.

"But it also cleared up ... the unknown ... [as] I didn't know what [had] happened."

He says having the footage had weighed down on him in recent months and he decided it was important that people saw it and that's what drove him to release it.

Lightbody says he wants an apology from Corrections over its handling of the incident, and compensation.

Corrections initially refused to give Lightbody the footage on the grounds it would breach other prisoners' privacy and show the locations of CCTV cameras in the prison.

But the Privacy Commissioner eventually ruled Corrections was wrong to not release the footage.

It also found someone had deleted or lost some of the footage.

The Commissioner has referred the complaint to the Director of Human Rights Proceedings.