A prisoner has received no extra jail for using boiling water to permanently disfigure a youth justice worker.
A prisoner has received no extra jail for using boiling water to permanently disfigure a youth justice worker.

Teenager disfigured youth justice worker in violent attack

One of Victoria's worst teen prisoners has received no extra jail time for using boiling water to permanently disfigure a youth justice worker.

And staff who wanted the boy moved to an adult jail because of a horrific catalogue of violence and the risk he poses have had their calls rejected.

The 18-year-old, who cannot be named, has a shocking background in youth justice and has committed more than 30 assaults on staff and other inmates.

But even hardened youth justice workers were shocked at the attack, at the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre in central Victoria, which left one of their colleagues with horrendous facial burns.

The teenager used freely available additives to ensure the burns were much worse than what would have happened with scalding water alone.

He has since been given a concurrent sentence to be served with other terms, meaning he will do no extra time.

Staff at the Malmsbury and Parkville youth justice centres have for years been concerned about the level of violence directed against them and what they see as a lack of meaningful consequences to deter attacks.

Ambulance enter Malmsbury Youth Justice centre after the incident. Picture: Rob Leeson.
Ambulance enter Malmsbury Youth Justice centre after the incident. Picture: Rob Leeson.

A WorkSafe report from May this year, compiled after two assaults on staff motivated by escape attempts, outlined staff grievances about the running of Malmsbury.

These included:

A FAILURE by management to act on information provided before incidents.

ISSUES and concerns of staff not being properly documented.

DETAINEE dress codes being ignored.

POLICY not being followed regarding items in inmates' rooms.

"Someone is going to be killed here," a Malmsbury source said.

Another worker at the facility said the detainee involved in the boiling water attack was notorious for physically and verbally assaulting staff.

"He's a bad egg," the source said.

"He's assaulted staff on many occasions. He just doesn't care."

A State Government spokeswoman said youth justice staff worked in complex and challenging environments and it was critical that they were supported to do this safely.

"We've upgraded security and other infrastructure at our youth justice centres, and we've created new laws that include tougher consequences for young offenders who assault youth justice staff," the spokeswoman said.

She said new safety and security measures had been introduced and $1.2 billion invested in overhauling the youth justice system through more staff who were better trained and equipped.

Originally published as No extra jail for teen who left worker disfigured No extra jail for teen who left worker disfigured


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