Port Arthur massacre accused Martin Bryant a threat to jail workers, says police officer

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Australia's Prime Minister John Howard stands at the memorial site of the Port Arthur massacre during a service to mark the 10th anniversary of the massacre in Port Arthur April 28, 2006. Ten years ago, 28 year-old Martin Bryant, from Hobart, opened fire with a high-powered rifle on people visiting the historical site. 35 people were killed and a further 25 were injured. Reuters/Ian Waldie/Pool

Martin Bryant, the main accused in the Port Arthur massacre that took place 19 years ago, has been reportedly attacking front line jail workers during his long term in prison. This has prompted Police Union president Pat Allen to warn against the risks of exposing jail workers to violent criminals like Bryant.

“We absolutely have a concern for the workers in there,” the News Corp quoted Allen as saying. “As a person who was at Port Arthur and as a union president I would be concerned if that was happening to my members.”

Bryant was besieged at the Seascape guest house after the Port Arthur massacre and Allen was amongst the first officers to arrive at the place. News Corp on Sunday revealed that Bryant has been assaulting jail workers for prolonged 19 years. One such assaults in recent times has left a male nurse with a fractured jaw which has rendered him incapable of resuming duties.    

The string of attacks inflicted by the killer along with other health issues have driven the cost of his imprisonment to a huge amount already. Bryant was moved to a maximum security wing of the Risdon prison, after the attack.

The photos and videos taken by News Corp on Sep. 10 showed a highly overweight, balding Bryant in the exercise cage, which he has access to for four to six hours a day. All these years, Bryant got only one visitor and it is his mother, Carleen Bryant. But she has declined to make any comment on the assaults her son is responsible for.

“She’s a lovely woman and I think a very courageous woman, because I think to continue living in this community is extraordinarily courageous,” said Greg Barns, a prisoner advocate.

Port Arthur, the historic prison colony in south-eastern Tasmania, is very popular with tourists. In April 1996, it made headlines because of a killing spree that occurred there, which took the lives 35 people and wounded 23 others. Bryant, who was 28 years then was charged with the murder and awarded 35 life sentences without parole.

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