Man pleads guilty to damaging prison property

Rosie Mullaley
Published on May 8, 2014
Justin Christopher Hopkins.
— Telegram file photo

One of 10 men charged in connection with an uproar at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in February has been given a two-month jail term.

On Thursday at provincial court in St. John’s, Justin Christopher Hopkins pleaded guilty to mischief by causing damage under $5,000.

He was charged as a result of an incident on Feb. 20 at the prison, when several inmates were said to have gone on a rampage and wrecked parts of a unit at the prison.

The two months will be served consecutively to a

12-month, 15-day sentence he’s already serving for two other counts of mischief from an unrelated incident.

The other men charged in connection with the HMP incident are Paul Connolly, Justin Wiseman, Chris Sutton, Justin Harvey, Jason Earl Marsh, Justin Owens, Julian Matthew Squires, Philip James Hollihan and Nicholas Gardias.

All, except Harvey and Gardias, are due back in court May 30. Harvey’s next court date is May 14, while Gardias, who had since been released from custody, has a warrant issued for his arrest.

Connolly, Wiseman, Sutton and Harvey are also suspected of having been involved in a riot that was sparked by a violent attack on another inmate, Kenny Green.

It happened Feb. 9 in the HMP chapel, where several inmates had gathered for the weekly Sunday service. Some of them were said to have carried out a planned assault on Green using homemade weapons, including sections of the chapel’s pew.

Some of the prisoners involved in the altercation were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, which were believed to be lacerations and stab wounds. Green was not seriously injured.

Green was first jailed in March 2013 in connection with the beating death of 47-year-old Joey Whalen. Whalen died in hospital on St. Patrick's Day, two days after he was reportedly beaten at a notorious Tessier Place drug house in downtown St. John’s.

Green has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is scheduled to be sentenced today.

The other men charged in connection with the attack on Green are Philip Wayne Pynn, Calvin Clifford Kenny, Jody Clarke, Devon Hubert Dominix and Brian Thomas Grech.

Their cases are also due back in court later this month.

Twitter: @TelyCourt