Gerard Richmond-Sinclair’s sign on the roof of Borallon Correctional Centre. Photo: TEN News
Gerard Richmond-Sinclair’s sign on the roof of Borallon Correctional Centre. Photo: TEN News

Protest draws another year

A PRISONER who staged a roof-top protest after failing to receive treatment for a shoulder injury in jail has had another year added to his sentence.

Alexander Gerard Richmond-Sinclair was serving a 12-year sentence for killing another inmate when he climbed onto the roof of the Borallon Correctional Centre.

The 26-year-old was armed with bed sheets painted with messages including: “Prisoners get inadequate medical care = Torture: Severe Physical + Mental Anguish. Adequate health care is not a privilege it is a duty of care.”

The dramatic incident at the correction centre on March 22 last year attracted widespread media attention as negotiators were called in and a two-day standoff ensued.

In a letter, signed “Maverick”, and handed to a prison guard by an associate on the morning of March 22, Richmond-Sinclair wrote: “I’ll come down when I’m ready. Anyone who comes onto the roof I’ll kill. I’m armed with weapons and a tortured mind ... I’m willing to die. I’ll cut my throat and jump if my requests are not completed.”

The injury, which Richmond-Sinclair said was caused by a prison guard four years ago, remained virtually untreated despite his repeated requests for an MRI.

Addressing the court, Richmond-Sinclair said he and his mother had written numerous letters to authorities asking for a proper examination.

After coming down from the roof, Richmond-Sinclair was placed in solitary confinement where he went on a hunger strike for 11 days until he was taken to hospital.

His MRI showed he had significant tendon damage to his left shoulder which required surgery, but it may have been left too long to treat.

The court heard Richmond-Sinclair has served five years of his 12-year jail sentence for bashing another prisoner to death at the Woodford Correctional Centre in 2006.

Prison authorities have not revealed how an inmate was able to climb undetected onto the roof.

Richmond-Sinclair pleaded guilty to an unregulated high-risk activity, making written threats to kill, threatening violence and wilful damage.

He was sentenced to 12 months jail. His eligibility for parole was extended a year to May 8, 2017 and his full-time release date was extended a year to October 9, 2019.

Due to his rooftop escapade, it is believed the parole board is unlikely to grant him early release.

Richmond-Sinclair has been in solitary confinement since surrendering and he told the court he would spend the next six months there.

He is deemed a “maximum security prisoner” and was taken into the courtroom wearing leg shackles, which could be seen beneath his suit pants.

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