A Corrections officer, bleeding heavily from stab wounds inflicted by an inmate, "lost control" and "reacted to violence with violence" as he lashed out in retaliation, a court has heard.

Guards Desmond Faafoi, Wiremu Paikea and Viju Devassy were all working at Auckland Prison, Paremoremo, on May 20 last year when a group of prisoners attacked them.

Faafoi was stabbed several times in the head with a shank (a makeshift knife).

While police charged the three prisoners who instigated the attack, Samuel Hutchins, Trent Wellington and Mitai Angell, the three guards were also charged.


The Corrections officers' trial has been playing out in the High Court at Auckland for the past two weeks and today Crown prosecutor Jo Murdoch delivered her closing address.

She said Faafoi "reacted to violence with violence" and as he was "pumped up with anger and adrenalin, he lost control".

"He punched and kicked an inmate repeatedly to the point that he had to be restrained by his fellow prison officers," Murdoch said.

"He then collapsed due to injury and physical exertion ... He lashed out."

Faafoi is accused of assault with intent to injure for kicking Angell in the head three times.

"Devassy saw this, it happened in front of him," Murdoch said of the incident.

"He clearly saw Mr Faafoi kicking Angell's head as Angell lay curled up in the fetal position. He clearly saw it 'cause it was recorded on his body camera," she continued.

Devassy is charged with wilfully attempting to pervert the course of justice for allegedly turning a CCTV camera away from the incident.

Devassy denies redirecting the camera to prevent the brawl being filmed and his lawyer, Paul Borich QC, said the Corrections officer was trying to preserve justice and "locate other rogue inmates".

As Angell was lying on the ground Paikea enters the scene, Murdoch told the jury.

"About 10 corrections officers can be seen controlling prisoners Angell and Wellington," she said.

While Angell was lying on the ground, Paikea performed a "figure four leg lock" on the prisoner.

It was so severe, Murdoch said, it caused Angell to suffer a compound fracture to his ankle.

Paikea faces a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard to the prisoner.

Corrections officers Desmond Faafoi, Wiremu Paikea and Viju Devassy are accused of using excessive force and perverting the course of justice. Photo / Greg Bowker
Corrections officers Desmond Faafoi, Wiremu Paikea and Viju Devassy are accused of using excessive force and perverting the course of justice. Photo / Greg Bowker

Earlier in the trial the court was shown the CCTV footage of the incident.

The video shows Wellington being wrestled by a Corrections officer near a stairwell, before Hutchins is tackled by Faafoi.

Faafoi can be seen bleeding heavily from his stab wounds.

Angell is wrestled to the ground before more Corrections officers, including Devassy, come to help restrain the prisoners.

Faafoi said he cannot remember much of the incident, a claim Murdoch told the court today was based on no medical evidence.

"He has to claim amnesia or a loss of memory, the Crown says, as the victim of the attack to justify what he did," she said.

Voices from an unknown Corrections officer during the recording can be heard saying: "Des[mond], Des, enough, enough, enough, enough" and "camera, camera".

However, Faafoi's defence counsel Todd Simmonds said his client had no malicious intent to injure Angell.

"Multiple blows to his head, stab wounds, cuts, abrasions, bleeding and the effect that had on him," Simmonds said of Faafoi.

"His ability to think straight, to appreciate what he was doing at the time - that's the defence.

"He may have lashed out, you'll see that on the footage, but did he have the intent?"

The CCTV footage later shows Paikea kneeling down over the back of Angell's legs.

The Crown alleges Paikea deliberately bent Angell's ankle at a 90-degree angle causing the compound dislocation.

Paikea's lawyer Aaron Perkins QC said his client accepts the injury occurred while wrestling with the inmate but rejects any criminal intent or reckless disregard.

"[Paikea] was simply doing his job in very difficult circumstances to the best of his ability," Perkins said.

The trio of officers were suspended after the charges were laid.

The prisoners have all pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and aggravated assault and will be sentenced later this year.

The guards' trial is expected to conclude in the next few days.