01/23/2018 13:34 EST | Updated 01/23/2018 13:40 EST

Alberta judge quotes 'Game of Thrones' in sentencing inmate for attack on guard

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has quoted the HBO series "Game of Thrones" in sentencing a convict who helped another inmate beat two jail guards in an unprovoked assault.

Provincial court Judge Harry Van Harten noted that the Jamie Lannister character said the words "good prisoners breed good jailers" before murdering a guard in an episode of the popular TV show.

Van Harten makes the comments in his written ruling in which Desi Brown was handed a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to assault on a peace officer causing bodily harm.

Court documents say Brown helped another inmate ambush a guard and then drag him inside their cell last February at the Calgary Correctional Centre.

Another guard managed to help his colleague to safety, but not before he was beaten by an inmate using a pair of handcuffs as if they were brass knuckles.

A tactical team eventually managed to arrest Brown and the other inmate.

Van Harten said the sentence aims to prevent mayhem in prison. He added that "bad prisoners breed bad jailers."

He said Brown and the other inmate were determined to inflict as much injury as possible in the least amount of time.

"The victims suffered lasting injuries. The assault did not involve, as often occurs, a guard’s intervention in a dispute between inmates; it was a "two on one" unprovoked attack on a guard carrying out a routine work task," Van Harten wrote. 

"While the offender gave an in-court apology for his actions, no explanation was offered for why this attack happened."

The Crown in its submission on sentencing said attacks on guards need to be deterred.

"If 'the law of the jungle' comes to rule in the closed atmosphere of a prison, everyone there will be at significant risk of harm. Inmates will not be deterred from attacking their guards," the ruling said. "The guards will not be deterred from abusing their inmates."

The other inmate charged, Hailu Milkel Ameha, is due back in court March 16 to make a plea in the case.


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