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 maximum security poo stephen jay breen violent assault woodford correctional centre



Time for change to end political privilege

Sussan Ley has resigned after her expenses problems, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Politicians really do take Australian taxpayers for fools

LETTER: Wrong location for housing development

Trying to find a good location for affordable housing in Grafton.

Mistakes can negatively affect value of Grafton citizens' properties

OPINION: Pauline, we need you here, not with Donald

If Australia needs to have a maverick politician emerge in these turbulent times, Pauline Hanson is a pretty harmless alternative.

Cartoon character, not a social threat

Local Partners

Book 'em, kiddo: Sale attracts bumper crowd

Whoever said books were passe would eat those words if they were at the Maclean Bowling Club on Saturday.


Artist program to link to gallery theme

VALUABLE STINT: Indigenous artist Karla Dickens at work in Grafton Regional Gallery's studio during her 2010 artist's residency.

Gallery encouraging indigenous artists to take up residency offer

See the historical heritage horses

OPEN DAY: Enjoy a day out learning or finding your next dream horse from the Guy Fawkes River National Park.

Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association Inc. open day.

7 things to do this weekend

The Maclean Rotary Book Sale is on this weekend and always attracts a big crowd of buyers.

Great places to spend some time

50 Shades actress on why she hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!