LIGHT SENTENCE?

By ADRIAN MILLER

A FORMER high-ranking official at the Grafton Jail, who was forced to retire after being bashed by an inmate, is calling for a review of his attacker's sentence.

The inmate, former Suffolk Park resident Ahmed Abdel Rahman Attia, was on remand in Grafton Jail in late December 2003 when he lit a fire in his cell and started a fight with six prison guards, which ended with some of the guards requiring hospital treatment.

At the time of the incident Attia was waiting to appear in Lismore Local Court on charges of having sexual intercourse without consent and taking and detaining a person with intent to obtain an advantage.

Attia raped a Byron Bay woman in a paddock at Ocean Shores after she had accepted a lift home with him from a Byron Bay night club.

According to the NSW Crown Prosecutor, Attia pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent in Sydney District Court on September 5, and after the judge took into account the assault at Grafton Jail, he was sentenced to five years in prison with a non-parole period of three years.

The jail official, who did not wish to be named, said he could not believe Attia received such a lenient sentence.

"I think it's a piss poor result ... I think only three years is terrible; the sentence is too light," he said.

The jail official said his forced retirement, due to the injuries he received in the attack, was a massive blow after 20 years working for the Department of Corrective Services.

"After 20 years service, when you are only 40-years-old, you think you are pretty set for the rest of your life," he said.

"I got up the ladder pretty fast due to further study and now it's gone."

The man said the injuries received by the prison guards in the altercation were severe.

"The fight lasted 11 minutes and several officers were injured," he said.

"One had a dislocated hand, one had a dislocated shoulder ? I had bite marks, was head-butted and kneed.

"Some of the officers required operations and at least one of them is getting ongoing medical treatment, as I am."



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