THE brutality of prison life was played out before Toowoomba District Court with CCTV footage of a Toowoomba man and an associate violently assaulting another prisoner in jail.

Owen Keith Murphy, who turned 39 in jail on Tuesday, had been in Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre after being arrested for stealing a cash register from a Toowoomba nursery on January 8 last year.

The CCTV footage from the prison's exercise yard on January 22, 2020, shows Murphy (on the left of three and in a shirt), his 24-year-old associate (bare chested) and the victim (in the middle) walking together in the yard when suddenly the victim is punched to the ground.

As other prisoners move away, Murphy and his mate punch and kick the 24-year-old victim before dragging him through a doorway.


It is behind closed doors that Murphy takes an unknown weapon from his pocket and assaults the victim further.

Crown prosecutor Shontelle Petrie said it was believed the incident arose from a request for drugs.

The victim was taken to hospital with fractures to his nose, around his eye and an eye bleed.

Murphy pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm while armed and in company arising from that incident as well as to the robbery of the nursery in Toowoomba on January 8, last year, and the armed robbery of a liquor store in Logan five days earlier.

Ms Petrie said Murphy had a 12-page criminal history littered with offences of violence, dishonesty and drugs.

His barrister Jessica Goldie told the court her client had spent 491 days in pre-sentence custody. At the time of both robberies Murphy had been high on drugs, she said.

Judge Katherine McGuinness said Murphy had spent so much time in prison he was at risk of becoming institutionalised.

Declaring the 16 months he had spent in custody as time already served under the sentence, Judge McGuinness sentenced Murphy to a total seven years in jail but ordered he be eligible to apply for release on parole as of January 7, 2022.

Originally published as WATCH: CCTV footage of prison brawl played to Toowoomba court