A long trial comes to an end.
The Prison Officer accused of murder for shooting an escaping inmate has been found not guilty.
Known as Officer A to protect his identity, the man was initially charged with manslaughter 18 months after the shooting incident. After a hung jury, he was charged with murder.
“We share with the Officer a great sense of relief,” said PSA CPSU NSW President Nicole Jess, herself a Prison Officer. “
After the verdict was reached, even the deceased inmate’s mother welcomed the decision, saying she had no desire to see Officer A sent to prison.
“The PSA has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Correctional Officer since day one and welcome the end to what has been a harrowing experience for him,” said PSA CPSU NSW General Secretary Stewart Little. “Like our members who work in the justice system, the PSA has the utmost respect for the rule of law.
“The PSA has nothing but sympathy for the deceased and his family. However, it is important that the community understand the dangers faced by Correction Officers every day they go to work.
“They are deployed with firearms for a reason, as they are tasked to protect and service the community and safeguard them from dangerous and violent criminals.
“We need to implement legislative change to protect our members from similar charges in the future.
We will be making representations to the Government in respect to this.”
Mr Little praised the many Prison Officers who attended the trial to support the accused in their own time.
The decision and the PSA’s reaction received widespread media attention throughout NSW.