Wagga father prefers comfort of jail time

Wagga Local Court
Wagga Local Court

A magistrate has told a Wagga father to stop being a chicken after he admitted to feeling more comfortable in jail than in society. 

Tolland’s Dwayne Mark Ashton, 36, received a wake up call in Wagga Local Court this week when magistrate Erin Kennedy told him to shape up. 

“This sort of behaviour is so unacceptable,” Ms Kennedy said. 

“Stop being a chicken sitting in prison – you need to be there for your young son who needs the support and guidance of a father.” 

Appearing in court via video link from Lithgow Correctional Centre, Ashton nodded as he was given the advice. 

“I know that it’s sad and I do want to get out and help myself and him,” Ashton said. 

Charged with intentionally and recklessly damaging several roof mounted airconditioning units after he was caught on the roof at Junee Correctional Centre, the court heard Ashton had spent majority of his life behind bars. 

According to facts tendered to the court, Ashton climbed on the roof of the administration building, throwing rocks at the staff below in November last year. 

The facts state Ashton then kicked over and damaged the units, refusing to come down and arming himself with metal sheets while yelling abuse. 

Solicitor for the accused, Rohan Harrison, said Ashton was a person who enjoyed a custodial environment. 

“He’s clearly institutionalised and his record doesn’t assist him,” Mr Harrison said. 

“His background wasn’t the best, starting out in the foster system and continuing in and out of prison all of his life.” 

Mr Harrison said a lengthier term of imprisonment would eat into his client’s parole, adding to the cycle. 

Magistrate Kennedy urged Ashton to think of his family as she added two months’ imprisonment to his current sentence. 

“You need to visualise how it will be when you come out and start seeing it as a good thing,” Ms Kennedy said. 

Ashton was ordered to pay $750.20 in compensation for the damaged units. 

His earliest release date will be December 23.