Joshua Leonard John Watson-Scully appeared by video link in Maryborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday accused of being involved in a prison riot.
Joshua Leonard John Watson-Scully appeared by video link in Maryborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday accused of being involved in a prison riot.

RIOT: Death threats, fires amid dinner dispute at jail

A DISPUTE over dinner at the Maryborough jail turned into a riot that cost taxpayers $68,000.

Joshua Leonard John Watson-Scully, 24, pleaded guilty in Maryborough District Court to one charge of riot.

The court heard Watson Scully was housed in a secure unit on October 27, 2018 when, about, 4.30pm prisoners started complaining about the food.

One prisoner jumped onto the trolley, the court was told and Watson Scully refused to go to his cell.

The prisoners were directed into the exercise yard.

There Watson Scully threw a rowing machine against the ground several times and used a broom handle to smash the window of the officers' station.

The court heard he lit bits of paper from an existing fire and threw them through the window.

Part of the riot was shown on CCTV footage to the court.

The footage captured the actions of some of the prisoners involved, including Watson-Scully, before wet toilet paper was placed over the camera to obscure the view.

The prisoners had refused to comply with directions and had made threats to kill corrective service officers, the court was told.

The court heard there had been minor injuries to corrective staff, including smoke inhalation.

The riot cost $68,000 in damage and additional labour that had been required to detain the prisoners.

Watson-Scully had a considerable criminal history, the court heard.

In 2016, Watson Scully was involved in a home invasion in which one of his co-offenders was killed.

He was sentenced in 2019 after pleading guilty in Brisbane District Court to charges including stealing and sexual assault in relation to a car theft.

The court was told Watson-Scully wanted to be a contributing member of society.

He had been removed from his mother's care when he was six years old as a result of her drug addiction.

Watson-Scully was taken in by his maternal grandparents but returned to his mum when he started high school.

When he was 15, a relative on his father's side introduced him to meth, the court was told.

He had been a talented rugby league player but developed his own drug problems and had resulting issues with his behaviour.

But Watson-Scully still enjoyed sport and wanted to rejoin the sporting community upon his release from prison.

He was hoping to get an apprenticeship in the construction industry, the court was told.

Judge David Reid said Watson-Scully had an "extremely worrying" criminal history.

He urged him to focus on sport and finding work upon his release.

He sentenced Watson-Scully to 18 months in prison, with a parole eligibility date of October 22, 2021.

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