WARNING: Disturbing content and video
Security camera footage of a short and bloody attack on prison officers by inmates using shanks has been played to a jury.
The video was played during the High Court trial of three Corrections officers accused of using excessive force to restrain a prisoner by allegedly kicking him in the head and deliberately snapping his ankle in half.
One of the guards is also accused of turning a CCTV camera away from recording the incident.
Justice Christine Gordon allowed the Herald and other media to film the footage as it was played in court today.
Guards Desmond Faafoi, Wiremu Paikea, Viju Devassy were all working at Auckland Prison, Paremoremo, on May 20 last year when officers were attacked by inmates coming back from the recreation wing to Bravo block.
Faafoi was stabbed several times in the head with a shank (a makeshift knife).
Police charged the three prisoners who instigated the attack, Samuel Hutchins, Trent Wellington and Mitai Angell, but also investigated the force used by the guards in retaliation.
The prisoners have all pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and aggravated assault and will be sentenced in the Auckland District Court later this year.
As the inmates were being taken back to their cells Wellington began his assault and attacked Faafoi with a hidden shank.
"Hutchins and Angell followed Wellington's cue," Crown prosecutor David Wiseman said during his opening address yesterday.
The video first shows Wellington being wrestled by a Corrections officer, before Hutchins then comes into view as he is restrained by Faafoi, who is bleeding from his head wounds.
Angell is also wrestled to the ground before several other Corrections officers, including Devassy, come to help restrain the prisoners.
Smeared and splattered blood can be seen on a wall as the guards regain control.
"Once Angell had been taken to the ground he was lying on his side surrounded by Corrections officers," Wiseman said.
It was then Faafoi kicked Angell in the head three times, the Crown alleges.
Devassy's body camera filmed Faafoi's kicks, Wiseman told the court.
Voices from an unknown Corrections officer during the recording can be heard saying: "Des[mond], Des, enough, enough, enough, enough" and "camera, camera".
The CCTV footage also shows Paikea kneeling down over the back of Angell's legs.
However, Wiseman said it is unclear what occurs because Devassy allegedly diverted away a camera recording the incident.
When the camera refocuses on the incident, Angell's ankle can be seen bent at a 90-degree angle, Wiseman said.
"Angell suffered a compound dislocation of his right ankle," he said, alleging Paikea had deliberately snapped it.
Yesterday, Paikea's defence counsel, Aaron Perkins QC, said his client accepts the ankle injury occurred while Paikea was wrestling with Angell.
However, Paikea rejects any criminal intent or reckless disregard for the safety of Angell.
"[Paikea] was simply doing his job in very difficult circumstances to the best of his ability," Perkins said.
Devassy said he did not wilfully redirect the camera to avoid the incident being caught on tape.
Devassy's lawyer, Paul Borich QC, said the Corrections officer wasn't trying to pervert the course of justice but rather "try and preserve it" and "locate other rogue inmates" to prevent further injury to his colleagues.
He said Devassy was all too aware of the violent nature of inmate attacks after being involved in one during October 2016.
Devassy and five other Corrections officers were attacked by a group of prisoners, Borich said.
"That's what came into my mind, it's all panic and rush at that time," Devassy later told Detective Sergeant Steven Brewer, the police officer in charge of the case.
"Just seeing Des, that was enough cause it - sort of bring back whole heaps of flashbacks for me," Devassy said.
"I can't explain the feeling actually ... After seeing this, after seeing that much blood."
Police charged Faafoi with assault with intent to injure Angell and Paikea charged with causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard to the prisoner.
Devassy was charged with wilfully attempting to pervert the course of justice for allegedly turning away the camera.
The trio first appeared in court last June and denied the allegations. They were also suspended after the charges were laid.
The trial, which is expected to last two to three weeks, continues.