Prison officer jailed over assault

A SENIOR corrective services officer has today been jailed for assaulting a prisoner inside the Newcastle courthouse holding cells.

There was anger and emotion inside Toronto Local Court this morning when Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson ordered Terry Dolling, 44, to serve a seven-month jail term with a non-parole period of four months.

The October 17 assault made headlines when graphic video footage of the incident was released publicly.

The footage showed an offender, who was known to be infected with hepatitis C, spitting in Dolling’s eyes.

A statement of facts earlier tendered to the court said Dolling and two other corrective services officers had taken custody of an unruly prisoner who had been refused bail by Newcastle police.

"The prisoner, by his own admission, became angry and 'pissed off'," the statement said.

CCTV video shows the prisoner appear to spit at Dolling after being placed in a holding cell. Dolling then re-entered the cell ‘‘armed with a towel or blanket’’, grabbed hold of the prisoner and ‘‘began punching [him] repeatedly in the head’’.

‘‘This caused [the prisoner] to fall back onto the bed,’’ the statement said.

Dolling continued to throw punches. One of his colleagues then entered the cell and appeared to restrain him.

Mr Russell said Dolling's job required him to deal with "some of the more violent inmates" and that he was sometimes required to use force when doing so.

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