A convicted murderer stabbed a notorious double-killer more than 40 times, including to his head and eye, at New Zealand's only maximum-security prison.

Senior Crips gang member Siuaki Lisiate pleaded guilty today in the High Court at Auckland to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He had attacked an inmate considered one of the country's most dangerous men: Graeme Burton.

Burton became a household name in the late 2000s when he embarked on a terrifying spree of violence and murder.

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Double-killer Graeme Burton was stabbed more than 40 times by a senior Crips gang member. Photo / File
Double-killer Graeme Burton was stabbed more than 40 times by a senior Crips gang member. Photo / File

He was shanked at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo on 11 May last year.

The attack began while he was walking along a landing of delta block about 9.30am when he was suddenly punched in the face, court documents released to the Herald today reveal.

Burton, who had a prosthetic leg after losing the limb in a 2007 police shooting, stumbled back and fell to the ground.

The 39-year-old Lisiate then joined in, running towards Burton and laying into him with a series of punches.

He then unveiled a makeshift knife.

Lisiate, who is known in criminal circles as JFK or Just F**king Crazy, then began stabbing Burton more than 40 times, court documents read.

Prone on the ground and curled in a foetal position, Burton tried to use his hands to shield his face.

Graeme Burton, who lost his right leg in a police shooting, sits in a wheelchair during a court appearance in Wellington in 2007. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Graeme Burton, who lost his right leg in a police shooting, sits in a wheelchair during a court appearance in Wellington in 2007. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Corrections officers, who had become aware of the violent incident, waited for backup before entering the landing. Despite officers waiting on the other side of a prison grille, Lisiate continued his attack.

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Guards then stormed the area in force and challenged Lisiate and threatened to use their pepper spray against him.

Lisiate had done his damage and stood up before throwing two large shanks at the guards' feet.

Burton, meanwhile, was initially in a life threatening condition and was taken to Auckland Hospital.

He had suffered several stab wounds to his body and a ruptured eye globe which required surgery and has severely diminished his vision, court documents read.

When spoken to by police, Lisiate said he directed two other maximum-security prisoners to take part in the attack.

He said he was "having fun".

Lisiate will be sentenced in late November, while two other prisoners are still before the courts.

Paremoremo Prison in Albany, New Zealand's only maximum-security facility. Photo / Doug Sherring
Paremoremo Prison in Albany, New Zealand's only maximum-security facility. Photo / Doug Sherring

Stabbing Burton was also not the first time Lisiate had attacked a prison inmate at Paremoremo.

In 2009 he ordered a hit on 23-year-old Tue Faavae, who was strangled to death with a radio power cord in a gang-related revenge killing.

Lisiate was sentenced in 2011 to life imprisonment for the murder, with a minimum non-parole period of 18 years.

Burton is serving time for crimes shook New Zealand.

In January 2007 he gunned down father-of-two Karl Kuchenbecker, shot two other men and wounded a handful of others in Wainuiomata and Wellington - the tragic climax to six months of drug-fuelled offending.

In 1992 Burton, again fuelled by a cocktail of illicit drugs and alcohol, murdered Paul Anderson after being denied entry to a Wellington nightclub.

In 2008 Burton also stabbed fellow inmate Dwayne Marsh at Paremoremo, with the violent incident filmed on prison CCTV cameras.