5 Sep 2019

Coral-Ellen Burrows' killer Stephen Williams pleads guilty to attempted jailhouse murder

12:31 pm on 5 September 2019

The man who killed six-year-old Coral-Ellen Burrows in 2003 has pleaded guilty to attempted murder of another man in prison.

18072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Wellington High Court.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

In the High Court in Wellington this morning 45-year-old Stephen Roger Williams admitted he tried to kill another inmate at Rimutaka Prison by stabbing him in the throat.

The Summary of Facts stated the incident happened on 31 July after Williams believed the inmate had told Corrections officers that he had tobacco hidden in his cell.

"The defendant believed that the victim had told Correction Officers that he had tobacco after he gave him the cigarette the previous day."

When the victim returned to his cell at the end of the working day Williams threw boiling water over him and then began striking him with a sharpened plastic knife.

"The victim fought back and escaped to the guard hut to alert them that he had been injured."

The victim suffered from four stab wounds, one to the back of the head and three to the back of his neck. He also suffered from extensive burns to his neck, chest, upper torso and arms.

Williams has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced in November.

The charge comes with a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

Williams was serving a life sentence for the murder of his step-daughter Coral-Ellen Burrows.

In March 2017, he was sentenced to preventive detention, meaning he would not be released until he could prove he was no longer a risk to society.

This was after he lured another inmate at Auckland's maximum security prison, Paremoremo, into his cell and stabbed him with broken fluorescent light bulbs and a broken broom handle.

At that point Williams had 96 previous convictions, 16 of them for violence.