Mass murderer and vexatious litigant Julian Knight says more Melbourne prisons are on the verge of riots after a smoking ban.
The Hoddle Street massacre gunman says the Port Phillip prison is ready to riot just like the rampage that shut down the Metropolitan Remand Centre.
“I’m currently sitting in a 1200 bed prison which is in lockdown and on the verge of kicking off here as it did with the MRC,” he told Supreme Court Justice Rita Zammit on Friday.
Victorian prisons have been in lockdown since the worst riots in Victoria’s history sparked on Tuesday at Ravenhall, where inmates smashed doors, windows and fences, started fires and damaged staff areas over the ban.
Knight – who regularly launches legal action – was in court for a judgment in a case against Port Philip Prison manager Ian Thomas.
He said nicotine patches had not been given to inmates even though Corrections Victoria promised them before the July 1 smoking ban.
Knight said he had told the courts for years what would happen if a smoking ban was introduced – but had been ignored.
“I think Ravenhall says it all,” he said.
The prison is expected to return to some normality from Friday, with a Corrections Victoria spokesman saying inmates should be transported to courts for existing matters for the first time since the riots erupted.
The Victorian government is assessing the remand centre damage, which could reportedly cost taxpayers up to $10 million.
Premier Daniel Andrews has said the rioters will face the full force of the law, with CCTV footage being examined to find the perpetrators.
The smoking ban was passed by the previous coalition government with bipartisan support to make sure prisoners weren’t exposed to passive smoking.
“This has been a ban that has been implemented effectively in other states – it just appears in Victoria under Labor it’s wound up in a riot,” shadow treasurer Michael O’Brien said.
A smoking ban in NSW jails will come into effect on August 10.
Prisons in the Northern Territory and Queensland are already smoke-free zones.
Former Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe will review the events at Ravenhall on June 30 and July 1 in an independent inquiry.
The review will look at the state’s preparedness for the riot and the responses to it from Corrections Victoria and police, firefighters and paramedics.