A MAN accused of an attempted murder plot, a prolific armed robber and a car thief are among the 21 inmates charged over a riot at Cessnock jail that caused more than $134,000 in damage in April.
The riot, which broke out in Cessnock's Shortland Correctional Centre and included inmates threatening staff, damaging property, locking themselves in rooms and climbing onto the roof, was triggered by anger over COVID-19 restrictions, which had robbed inmates of personal contact visits and stopped the flow of illicit drugs and tobacco into the jail.
Three months after the riot, police charged 21 men - aged between 22 and 39 - with rioting, participating in a criminal group and damaging property.
Of the accused rioters, Matthew Duncan, 24, Ian Edwards, 28, Clifford Ingrey, 26, Allan Leonard, 24, Tyson Polyak, 24, Drae Moore, 24, Michael Manton, 29, Anthony Nolan, 26, Bradley Cavanagh, 27, Jack Kerstens, 22, Todd Wayne Burns, 28, Ryan Corby, 28, Dean Taylor, 30, Henry Cutmore, 26, Brandon Miller, 39, Edward Morris, 32, and Christopher Dickson, 30, remain behind bars in correctional centres, including Goulburn, Cessnock, Wellington and mid-north coast. Those men all had their matters mentioned in Cessnock Local Court on Thursday and were refused bail until September, while the DPP determines whether or not to elect to prosecute the matter.
Ellwyn Walton, 33, and Shannon Stradwick, 32, had both been released from jail on parole in the intervening three months since the riot and were subject to detention applications in Cessnock Local Court on Thursday.
Mr Stradwick, who was released on parole in May to a 24-hour curfew, was granted bail despite his long criminal history and the apparent strong prosecution case against him.
Meanwhile, Mr Walton was taken back into jail some six weeks after being released on parole after Magistrate Andrew Miller said he was not satisfied any bail conditions could mitigate the risks Mr Walton posed. The case against the men is said to be strong, with CCTV and mobile phone footage capturing much of the riot.
Two other men were arrested and charged in Sydney and Tamworth.
This offence caused significant damage to correctional facility property. It was a riot in jail.Magistrate Andrew Miller said on Thursday.