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



Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Is Brisbane the new arts and culture capital?

Check out GOMA's latest exhibition - it's all about hair! GOMA 10 Ambassador Patience Hodgson visits Nervescape V 2016 by Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (aka Shoplifter), commissioned for ‘Sugar Spin: you, me, art and everything’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 
Photograph: Natasha Harth, QAGOMA

THE rest of the world should be envious of this line-up!

Prime Tweed site sells at auction

SOLD: The old Rivers commercial retail building at 79-81 Wharf St sold at auction for $2.475 million recently.

Tweed development site sold at auction for $2.475 million

The magnificence of Fingal's sunrise

SPECTACULAR: The sun rising over Fingal Head Lighthouse.

Behind the Lens: sunrise at Fingal Head lighthouse

Local Partners

Convoy to go ahead amid protests by conservationists

POTTSVILLE residents will push ahead with their plan to stage a community march in support of a Men's Shed


REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Neil Finn to headline Bluesfest

Neil Finn, of Crowded House fame, will play in Byron Bay with his wife Sharon and their band The Pyjama Club on June 11.

DON'T dream, it's not over, Neil Finn to hit the stage

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

New festival joins Quiksilver Pro party

Australian rockers the Rubens will headline the inaugural Cooly Beachfest at Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta on March 18

Cooly Beachfest 2017 officially takes off

Prime Tweed site sells at auction

SOLD: The old Rivers commercial retail building at 79-81 Wharf St sold at auction for $2.475 million recently.

Tweed development site sold at auction for $2.475 million

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Top 6 infrastructure projects in the Tweed for 2017

The Gold Coast Airport is getting an upgrade.

Find out what's going in the Tweed.

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Waterfront luxury in Tweed

14 The Mainbrace, Tweed Heads

Check out house of the week.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!