Life's tougher outside prison, says ex con who has anxiety
MANY times former Rockhampton man Shaun King has asked himself, "why am I alive?"
Shaun is free from prison three years after he shot Brian Wells in the neck but he says he is more afraid "on the outside" than when he was as a prisoner.
In November, 2011, Shaun was sentenced to three years jail after he left Mr Wells a paraplegic after shooting him in the neck.
It was alleged that Wells, armed with an axe, in 2010 attempted to break into Shaun's Bolsover St home through a door and window because he thought he had tried to stop his supply of marijuana.
Shaun was released on parole in February 2012 but since then has started getting "crazy" anxiety attacks.
Shaun, 22, contacted The Morning Bulletin this week in a bid to reach out for help to fit back into the community.
He is finding it hard to hold onto a job and struggles to do basic social tasks.
"That night changed my life forever," Shaun said.
"I started getting anxiety attacks to a point where I just stopped going out.
"I only go out to get a bit of shopping and that's it."
Shaun said he acted in self-defence during that fateful incident in 2009 and since then he couldn't trust himself to go out into the community because he might end up in a fight and be sent back to jail.
"In prison, men came up to me and said they were going to stomp on my head for what I did," he said.
"It was a real eye-opener ... I don't want to go back there.
"Sometimes I wonder why am I really here?"
He said he had no social life and was confined to four walls almost every day, except when he would go shopping with his mum.
Shaun now lives with his sister in Gladstone.
When he was released from prison he lived in Brisbane for a while.
The incident that put him behind bars affected him so much he became paranoid at work.
"I found a job about a week after I was released from prison," he said. "I worked for about a week and then I just lost the plot."
Shaun doesn't want to move back to Rockhampton because it would be like "living in hell".
Central Queensland Probation and Parole regional manager Yme Dwarshuis said that while he could not comment on any specific cases, any person in experiencing problems of this kind could seek help from professional organisations or practitioners.
Offenders are eligible to access the Transitional Support Service if they:
- are a sentenced offender, eligible for board ordered parole, have a court ordered parole date, or are due for full-time release within no more than nine months
- have a risk of reoffending score of below 16
- are willing and able to participate in the service