A man dubbed Houdini for his numerous escapes from prison is to stand trial for allegedly stabbing a fellow inmate in the head.

Aaron Forden has pleaded not guilty to injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after the incident at Paremoremo Prison in 2010. Two other men have been convicted and sentenced over the attack.

Security cameras were covered before the attack in which the inmate had boiling water poured on him and was stabbed in the head with a shank.

Forden appeared in Auckland District Court yesterday and a trial date was set for May.


Forden became the first person to escape from the new $218 million Mt Eden Corrections Facility in October last year.

He also escaped from the old Mt Eden Prison by crawling through roof cavities to a tower and using knotted-together sheets to lower himself over barbed wire.

He also managed to escape from a secure interview room at Whangarei District Court.