PHOTO: Ex real estate agent has been jailed for their crimes. FILE
According to STUFF disgraced real estate agent Aaron Drever, serving a 24-month sentence for defrauding a bowling club and a speedway promoter, has been assaulted for seemingly the second time in just three months in prison.
Drever was attacked in the kitchens at Ngawha prison, Northland, on the morning of November 16, Corrections have confirmed. He was taken to hospital as a result.
Sources said Drever’s attacker struck him in the face with a metal grille hook, slashing open his face and exposing his nasal cavity. He was taken to the Bay of Islands hospital, and then to Whangārei to see an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Sources claimed the attacker shouldn’t have been in the kitchen at the time, having been involved in a previous incident, but Corrections denied he was not meant to be there.
Sources have told Stuff that Drever was also attacked at Mt Eden Prison in Auckland shortly after his sentencing as he awaited transfer to another jail, although Corrections said they had no record of this assault.
Drever is presently awaiting a verdict on an appeal he has lodged against his sentence, in which he argued he was due a greater discount for previous ‘good character’ which would have brought him under the threshold for home detention.
At his appeal hearing, his lawyer James Olsen said jail had “shot home” to Drever the nature of his offending.
Drever defrauded the two sports organisations of over $500,000, money which has not been repaid. He had previously accumulated a record number of sanctions for a real estate agent, before being barred from the profession in 2016.
Olsen said he couldn’t comment on Drever’s assault, but said “the reality is this happens every day in prison, it’s awful, and shouldn’t happen to anyone in custody, but it does”.
“People see someone getting locked up and say, ‘good job’, but the reality is Corrections don’t have the resources to adequately attend to and protect all the prisoners in their care.”
In a statement, Northland Regional Corrections Facility prison director David Pattinson said staff had “responded quickly to separate the prisoners and move the alleged perpetrator out of the kitchen”.
He said Drever was given first aid, taken to hospital for “further observation” and was returned to the prison later that day. The attacker was placed on “directed segregation”, charged with misconduct and would be transferred to another prison, with police advised.
Stuff asked why Corrections was failing to protect Drever while he was in prison. In his statement, Pattinson said: “Our staff manage some of the most complex and dangerous people in New Zealand, and are trained in identifying and de-escalating tension and violent behaviour when it occurs. Thirty-five percent have a gang affiliation, which is a known predictor of violence.