29 Mar 2011

Prison guard's actions 'strike at heart of rule of law'

5:00 pm on 29 March 2011

A judge says the actions of a guard who admitted smuggling contraband into Auckland Central Remand Prison and possessing a firearm strike at the heart of the rule of the law.

Harry Minisita, 30, said he had the weapon - which was found when police searched his home - because of threats from prisoners.

Judge Jan Doogue told the Auckland District Court on Tuesday it was not surprising Minisita might feel vulnerable working in a prison environment, but his offending struck at the heart of the rule of law.

Saying that people who hold positions of trust must be deterred from following his lead, she sentenced him to 400 hours' community service for possessing the firearm and 200 hours for two breaches of the Corrections Act.

The sentences are to be served concurrently.