News

How violent poo-chucker turned Buddhist

ONE of Queensland's most violent prisoners, who threw urine and feces at correction officers, says Buddhism has saved him.

Stephen Jay Breen was sentenced to three years for his most recent act - believed to be number 18 in a list of violent crimes that includes attempted murders of two fellow prisoners at the Maryborough Correctional Centre in 2009 and 2011.

His attack, on August 29, 2015, was one of 73 assaults by prisoners on correctional officers from January to June that year, three of which were held as 'serious'.

There were 133 assaults logged in the same period of this year, but none of them required medical treatment or overnight hospitalisation.

Breen, who carries the infectious hepatitis C disease, told Brisbane District Court on Friday he threw the concoction of bodily fluids in response to the inhumanity of his prison treatment.

The officers Breen hit were clothed in protection gear because of the prisoner's history.

Breen, currently in maximum security at the Woodford Correctional Centre near the Sunshine Coast, said for the past six years he had only been allowed out of his cell for two hours a day.

He said this caused him health issues.

"I've been diagnosed as a psychopath," he told the court, a diagnosis he had never had before his solitary confinement of recent years.

"I'm unable to talk to anybody."

"I'm not able to directly associate with other prisoners."

Breen conceded over the years in jail he had caused a lot of unnecessary and unprovoked harm.

But he said the way he was held did not "allow for an inmate to navigate one's own emotions".

Breen said he had to deal with the "fierce smell" of urine and feces in the maximum security unit because of another inmate throwing feces around for two to three months, every day.

With two life sentences and a parole date not until 2036, Breen said there was no reason for him to behave, with even farm privileges stripped from him as a prospect.

He said "they want someone to act humanely in an inhumane situation".

Breen, 34, who represented himself in court via videolink, said he had not one incident in the past six months, because he had started practising Buddhism.

He said he had been "following it seriously for the last eight months", and had been receiving teachings from reputed practitioners.

Judge Michael Shanahan said he would take into account how restrictive the conditions of prison are for Breen.

"It may be that you have no hope of achieving parole," he said.

He said however, the position Breen now found himself in was of his own making, and his actions required consequences.

Judge Shanahan extended Breen's parole eligibility to July 2036.

He said given Breen's circumstances, he could not wish him all the best.

"But I hope you have some hope, sir."

- ARM Newsdesk

Topics:  attempted murder buddhism editors picks maryborough correctional centre poo violent assault woodford correctional centre



Run of woes impact on Lismore Base

Westpac Rescue Helicopter at Lismore Base Hospital.

New allegations another hit for major regional hospital

'Hunted like game': nude beach creeps prompt calls for safety

Residents have made calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to local police.

Calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to the local police

VIDEO: Lennox Head Ski Jump plans axed

Protesters find out the State Government has decided against a Ski Jump at Lennox Head.

Decision delivered to residents at protest on Saturday.

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Comedy production hits Rochdale stage

Thoroughly relishing their roles as the three crotchety old veterans (performed by Co Gray Wilson, Jason Smith and John Taylor), they provide fascinating individual insights into three proud men who despite their frailties are determined be adventurous and joyful to the end.

Heroes is a comedy play by Gerald Sibleyras.

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

DUO: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their hit show Women Like Us to Nimbin.

Hit comedy show heading towards Nimbin

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!