Still using Facebook behind bars

By Michael Botur

John Jamieson
John Jamieson

The family of a man who was stomped to death by teenagers is shocked the ringleader has been running a Facebook page for two years - from his prison cell.

The Department of Corrections is investigating a profile belonging to John Oliver Jamieson, who was jailed for the manslaughter of Timaru man Wayne Bray. Bray died on Waitangi Day, 2008.

Jamieson's profile shows him displaying new Nazi tattoos in Rolleston Prison, posing with a skinhead cellmate, and cuddling his mother and sister. He appears to have accessed Facebook via a mobile phone, which are banned in prisons.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley said she expected Corrections to investigate thoroughly. "Corrections is constantly trying to stay one step ahead of offenders, many of whom are manipulative and difficult to manage."

Labour's Jacinda Ardern said her party had concerns about the failure of cellphone-jamming towers and prisoners contacting the family of victims.

"Victims should be our first priority. If they are experiencing contact by a prisoner, Corrections needs to act," she said.

Wayne's father, Kerry Bray, is flabbergasted at Jamieson's ongoing contact with the others convicted of killing the father-of-three.

"How do they do this? Jamieson's not supposed to be in contact with those bastards. We've been to 29 parole hearings since they kicked Wayne to death.

"Facebook shouldn't be allowed. Facebook should take down the pages. Waitangi Day is the six-year anniversary of Wayne's death. The pain's still there, that'll never go away."

A non-association order means Jamieson may not contact any co-offenders, Kerry added.

Rose Bray had raised Wayne from the age of 4. "I'm not surprised Jamieson is running a Facebook page," she said. "They can get away with doing anything in prison. They seem to have more rights than the victims."

Jamieson claims he is using Facebook Windows Mobile on a Huawei cellphone with a 2Degrees account. Before taking over the profile himself, Jamieson's sister appears to have posted updates.

The Herald on Sunday reported on January 5 that prisoner Maakiti Tipene stalked his former partner using Jamieson's Facebook profile while Tipene was imprisoned for rape and kidnapping. The partner's concerns were investigated by Corrections in 2009 but complicated because she had initially asked to be on the approved contact list for Tipene. Corrections was not aware of her concerns about Jamieson or Tipene contacting her in 2012.

A spokeswoman said the department was aware of instances where Facebook pages had been set up on behalf of a prisoner, and said any material posted online that was considered threatening would be passed on to police.

"This behaviour is not tolerated as cellphones are contraband ... Corrections constantly upgrades its cellphone-jamming systems as technology evolves."

Parole was denied for Jamieson last year.

In the Tipene case, Corrections did not refuse to answer questions from the Herald on Sunday, as previously reported.

- Herald on Sunday

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