Drug dealer denied parole for part in prison 'protest'
TAKING part in a prison "protest" just weeks after he was locked up will prevent a Fraser Coast drug dealer being released - even though a Supreme Court justice agreed it was not a riot.
Daryl David Hall was jailed in September 2013 for trafficking dangerous drugs.
The next month he was involved in what the prison dubbed a "riot" when he and other inmates refused to leave the exercise area at the Maryborough prison.
Hall, who has a long history of offending on the Fraser Coast, applied to be released on parole in February 2014 - despite not being eligible for parole until August.
The parole board rejected his application, dubbing him "an unacceptable risk to the community if released" pointing to his involvement in the incident which they dubbed a "riot".
Hall appealed the decision to the Supreme Court claiming the parole board had not taken his circumstances into account and denying he was involved in a riot, stating it was a "protest".
"I was caught up in it unintentionally and my minor role was passive. I was not breached over the incident," he submitted.
Hall also claimed the parole board had ignored that he had a "relatively short period of time left" in his sentence - even when he had 28 months left.
An April 2014 report said the incident consisted of a group of prisoners who "failed to comply with [a] direction and refused to exit the exercise yard".
Supreme Court Justice Philip McMurdo ruled the non-violent incident was not a riot.
"The applicant's conduct was not as serious as the respondent described. On no meaning of the word was he involved in a 'riot'," he said.
While Justice McMurdo found the parole board had made an error in considering the incident a riot he said the error was not enough for a review of their decision to be carried out.
"The other reasons given by the respondent, absent the fact that the applicant had been involved in a less serious incident which was mistaken for a riot, still provided a rational basis for this decision."
Hall's release date if he is not paroled is December 10, 2016.