The 1988 riot

Opened in 1855, closed in 1991
User avatar
Dellycat
Site Owner/Admin
Site Owner/Admin
Posts: 1854
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:05 pm

The 1988 riot

Postby Dellycat » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:03 pm

Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009


The Fremantle prison riot was a prison riot that occurred on January 4, 1988 at Fremantle Prison, in Western Australia. The riot was organised as a diversion for an escape that was to take place. Prisoners created a fire as part of the diversion, and temperatures inside the cells were recorded at 52.2 °C (126 °F). Divisions 3 and 4 were taken over by a total of seventy prisoners, and 15 officers were taken hostage. The fire caused AU$1.8 million in damage and unintentionally prevented the planned escape.

Fremantle Prison was built using convict labour during the 1850s, with the design based on Pentonville Jail, and was the maximum security prison for male offenders in Western Australia. During the 1890s the size of the cells were doubled by removing a join wall between two cells. The conditions in the cells remained unchanged except for lighting and basic toilet facilities. The population was divided into 4 divisions, division 3 housing violent prisoners and division 4 housing murderers and those serving long term sentences.

Twelve men, including Brenden Abbott, planned a mass escape from Fremantle prison. To do this they used a diversionary riot and fire. During the two weeks prior to the riot they collected 3 litres (⅔ US gallon) of fuel from lawnmowers, which they managed to conceal in their drink bottles.

Just before 4:00pm (1600) two prisoners were brought in from the exercise yards in division three to deliver tea and hot water to the cells as the other inmates were locked away. They had two twenty-five litre drums of boiling water stationed on the top floor above the gates, which was perfectly normal. Five officers were stationed in the division on this day, and as two officers opened the gates to let the prisoners in, fifty litres of boiling water was poured on their heads. At that moment, seventy violent prisoners from division three rushed in through the gates at once. They very quickly overpowered the officers, and locked them in the yards. The prisoners now had the cell keys, and they made their way to the top floor, opening every cell and throwing down anything removable that would burn, and piled it up at the doorway at the end of the division.

The fire they created was much bigger than they anticipated and the flames quite literally reached the roof. The roof was the original jarrah timber built 140 years prior, and before long half of the third division and all of the fourth division was a raging inferno that could be seen from Perth. Images were broadcast live across national television. Camera crews in helicopters filmed the chaos as the prison collapsed. From the air it appeared as if no efforts were being made to extinguish the fire; efforts were being made but the main gates were made in 1850 by convicts and were too narrow to get fire engines through. The fire continued for nineteen hours until the flames were brought under control.

After the fire was under control, the prisoners negotiated a trade of the prison officers for food. They then agreed to return control of the prison back to the guards. Although 15 officers were injured (two of them seriously), nobody was killed.

In February 1988 a report into the causes of the riot was prepared. The report suggested that little evidence supports the escape plan theory common in the media, but that the riot was largely the result of an incident of that morning involving the mistreatment of a prisoner and his subsequent release into three division yard. Total damages to the prison amounted to AU$1.8 million, including the cost of restoring the roof to original condition. The riot highlighted the poor conditions inside the jail and two years after the prison was closed with most prisoners being transferred to the new Casuarina Prison. The prison was turned into a tourist attraction which is now nationally heritage listed. A trial was held at a cost of AU$3 million and 33 men were charged. The twelve ring leaders were given six years on top of their current sentences, two of those in near solitary conditions. Brenden Abbott successfully escaped from Fremantle prison in 1989 and spent 5 and a half years on the run before being caught in Queensland.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremantle_prison_riot
Image

User avatar
Dellycat
Site Owner/Admin
Site Owner/Admin
Posts: 1854
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:05 pm

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Dellycat » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:05 pm

GL, you say you were there. Do you have any stories to share ?????? Would be interesting to hear an inside story

I know from my tour of the place that the persons responsible for the riot ended up in special cells that had their windows covered in mesh or something so that other prisoners couldn't throw things to them through the windows. They were sort of worshiped by the other prisoners or something.

Also the damage done to the prison by the fire was made worse because they could not get a normal fire tender into the prison grounds because the gate, being built when it was, was too small to let the modern fire trucks in. Is that true???

It would be interesting to hear first hand experience with this
Image

User avatar
Jemm
Admin
Admin
Posts: 4482
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:28 pm
Location: Australia
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Jemm » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:07 pm

Ghostlaird...

As a Prison Officer at the time of the riots,at Fremantle Prison, I was witness to some acts of courage and cowardice.
Courage of the 5 hostages taken out into the 'yard' and threatened with death, knifings and rape by over 200 crims.
Courage of officers running up burning landings to save officers and crims who were locked in cells by teaboys or trustees, if you will.
Courage of an officer returning to work some months later after having a bucket of boiling water poured on his back,causing 3rd degree burns to his whole back and buttocks.
Courage of the officers in 2Div, getting the grilles locked before the crims heard the signal 'to go!!'
Courage of the firefighters attempting to put out the blaze whilst being pelted with lumps of limestone by crims as it exploded with the severe heat.

At the exact time of the riot, I was on Bathers Beach(GoogleEarth) with my kids whilst on holidays.
My daughter noticed some black smoke coming from the general direction of the prison and we took no notice of it for a while.
As we were leaving to go home to my unit in Fremantle, we noticed that it was coming from the prison and as I got nearer to the Markets, a couple of the wives of officers came running toward me and, grabbing the kids hands, yelled at me to get up to the prison.
As I entered the gatehouse in bathers and t-shirt, the Chief Ofr asked if I had a uniform handy, they were all being dry-cleaned as I'd started holidays.
I then became liasion ofr,ringing ofr's and head office trying to get ministers(political) on the phone, answering calls etc.
After ringing one ofr.,He told me he'd just had a call from someone asking him why he was a prison ofr.
Checking the callboard, the call had come from inside the prison.
I was sent to check the school area and it was “all correct.”

The boss(Chief) then sent me to check all the psych's carrels, and they were “all correct!”
In the Gatehouse, there is a small unused office and as I checked the door I could hear a woman's voice using the phone.
I opened the door and Chris Bridges,psychologist, was ringing ofr's names and asking why they were screws.
Chris Bridges became Christabel Charmeret, Greens Senator, and when they finished with her she served on the Parole Board and her time there is still being investigated(as far as I know) for the amount of crime perpetrated by offenders whilst on “early parole”.
Even judges were amazed by the amount of time that was shaved off the sentences they were handing out to re-offenders while they were on parole.
I'll write about the cowards at a later date.
But, not all crims were cowards.
Big Les Mason(Chiz,had the biggest chin anyone had ever seen on a 6”10” person), helped get the burnt ofr away from the landings while getting burnt himself.
We later learnt(within 2day's) that there was a 2pktcigs reward for his death.
I and another ofr wrote a report for him and he was taken back to the Goldfields(where he tried to gelignite a police station, 7yrs) and he was released from the prison van never entering the Kal prison.
I saw him one day, years later, in Freo when I heard this almighty “B-O-S-S!!” on the cappucino strip.
People ducked,kids screamed when they saw him running towards me and Mitch(my son).
He's doing well and has never been in trouble since.
It works,sometimes.
Image

Image

User avatar
Jemm
Admin
Admin
Posts: 4482
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:28 pm
Location: Australia
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Jemm » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:08 pm

GL...for once I'm going to be serious with you,and thats not very often

You have some amazing stories to tell so why the heck havent you put it on paper matey???...If the NYPD boys can get books published at the drop of a hat then you can too,(and I've just read2 this month ..Circle of Six ....and ...The Brotherhood)

You are a very articulate person with a great eye for detail , so give it a shot mate...I'd buy it!..heck, I'd even promote it for you!!!!
Image

Image

User avatar
Jemm
Admin
Admin
Posts: 4482
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:28 pm
Location: Australia
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Jemm » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:08 pm

Ghostlaird..


There wasn't a lot to laugh about on that day,but 1 episode sticks in my mind, because I'd have loved to have been there to see the look on the kid's face.

As the afternoon dragged on, I was kept busy answering phones, operating the Gates etc, and I casually asked the S.O.(Senior Officer) did he want a coffee as I was making it for the Boss(Chief Ofr).
I think we all thought of it at the same time, meals!
The kitchen was all locked away and there was about 600+ crims to feed. The Boss rang the Superintendent with the query,put the phone down and said to me to ring Hungry Jack's in Fremantle and order some 700 hamburgers!


“Hungry Jack's, how can I help you?”
“Yeah, I'd like to order 700 Whoppers, please”.
CLICK!

“Hungry Jack's, can I take your order?”
“Umm, I want 700 Whop..........”
Click!

“Hung...............”
“It's Fremantle Prison, I want 700 Whoppers,delivered by taxi as soon as,please”.
“I'll get the manager”
“Hello, who is this?”the manager asked.
“It's Fremantle Prison, and I want 700 Whoppers delivered as soon as possible,please”
And I swear this is what he said,
“Do you want fries with them?”
I later learnt that they had to call around to other stores to get the burger patties.
It took till 9pm, but the crims were fed and I think the Manager retired!
The Boss and S.O., were in fits of laughter each time I had to re-ring and order 700 burgers.
Image

Image

User avatar
Dellycat
Site Owner/Admin
Site Owner/Admin
Posts: 1854
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:05 pm

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Dellycat » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:09 pm

Would love to have seen the look on that kids face as well... Classic.
Bet that is a story that store has remembered and knowing how long they take to make one order, they must have gone into panic to make that many in the same day, let alone fast enough to keep them all hot.

Did you get fries with them after all that?

I agree with Jemm, you should write a book on all this, you could do it easily

If you don't want to, give me the information and I will do it for you.
Image

User avatar
megsy
Demon
Demon
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:21 am
Location: australia
Location: Dilly Shire

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby megsy » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:52 pm

I take it Ghostlaird isn't around on here anymore?

That story was awesome. I think I held my breath all the way through them.

How lucky not to be on duty that day. Meant to be, perhaps?

:exhausted:
There is an inn, a merry old inn beneath an old grey hill, And there they brew a beer so brown that the Man in the Moon himself came down one night to drink his fill - sign under the Prancing Pony Inn - LOTR

User avatar
Grizz
Jan 1962 - Jan 2012
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:04 pm
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Grizz » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:21 pm

Yes, sorry to say that Ghostlaird passed away suddenly a couple of years ago. :cry:
January 1962 - January 2012

Only 50 yrs young

R.I.P Mark



ImageImage


Proud member of the Chewy tribe, established 2011.

User avatar
megsy
Demon
Demon
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:21 am
Location: australia
Location: Dilly Shire

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby megsy » Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:18 pm

:sorry: I wasn't expecting that answer. I thought he just didn't come back in here.

Shame I didn't have the pleasure of knowing him.
There is an inn, a merry old inn beneath an old grey hill, And there they brew a beer so brown that the Man in the Moon himself came down one night to drink his fill - sign under the Prancing Pony Inn - LOTR

User avatar
Dellycat
Site Owner/Admin
Site Owner/Admin
Posts: 1854
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:05 pm

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Dellycat » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:19 pm

Megsy, Ghostlaird was a real character and had lots of stories to tell of his time working at Fremantle. I spent many hours talking to him on the phone, bouncing emails and private messages and even met him one day as he was in his front yard one day when I went past his house, so stopped to say hello. Sadly he passed away in the early hours of 19th June 2009 from a heart attack, not long after he had sent me an email and posted some stories on the site.. he was a night owl.
We often talk about him and know he visits us often on here... we have weird things happen from time to time and they are always his style of humour... :grin:
Image

User avatar
Dellycat
Site Owner/Admin
Site Owner/Admin
Posts: 1854
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:05 pm

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Dellycat » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:26 pm

I forgot to mention... I met a person not long after Ghostlaird passed away, someone that went 4wdriving with us and on a camp. Around the camp fire this person was telling tells about working for Hungry Jacks (Burger King every where else) and attending the training course prior to starting work. He recounted the story told of how the Fremantle store got a phone call for over 700 whoppers and how they managed to fill the order. He thought it was over exaggerated until I said I could tell him who made the call and the figure was correct :histerics: They had to contact all the Hungry Jacks stores in neighbouring suburbs to get the order done.... and they did :grin:
Image

User avatar
megsy
Demon
Demon
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:21 am
Location: australia
Location: Dilly Shire

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby megsy » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:41 am

Sad.

I am happy that you got to meet him befre he left then. He certainly sounds like someone you would like to know.

and how funny with the burgers ! It would of been funny coming from a stranger - and from the other end of the tale. That would be a story that would get passed around for many years :smile:
There is an inn, a merry old inn beneath an old grey hill, And there they brew a beer so brown that the Man in the Moon himself came down one night to drink his fill - sign under the Prancing Pony Inn - LOTR

User avatar
Jemm
Admin
Admin
Posts: 4482
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:28 pm
Location: Australia
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Jemm » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:26 pm

ohhhhhhhh boy ...watch this space , because I can garuntee that GhostLaird will make his mark on AG..it happens everytime we talk about him :lol:

OMG he was such a full on charicter here and very much loved..."you drove us nuts GL" :grin:
before our old site crashed I had all his jokes and funny messages saved, just couldnt bring myself to delete them.

We have nothing but fun happy memories of all the nutty crazy stuff GL used to post, and ohhh he had a wicked sense of humor, and a big kind heart.

Miss you GL :kisses:
Image

Image

User avatar
Ladytaura80
Spirit
Spirit
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:58 pm
Location: Western Australia

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Ladytaura80 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:19 pm

I can't help coming back to read his words just to hear his voice in my head..

He told us many stories about Freo...never got tired of them!

User avatar
Jemm
Admin
Admin
Posts: 4482
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:28 pm
Location: Australia
Location: Sunshine Coast Queensland

Re: The 1988 riot

Postby Jemm » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:16 am

Hi there good to see you,..funny you should pop up now, my lap top went on the fritz big time..we always say its from "those who shall not be named " messing with us again...seriously ...ask Delly , James too , it's nuts.

Yes his stories were always fantastic, he told them well, to the point where you could almost feel like you were there ...love and hugs to you :heart:
Image

Image


Return to “Fremantle Prison”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alexa [Bot] and 2 guests