La Trobe University knife attacker Sarah Jean Cheney is ‘Australia’s most dangerous inmate’
A source told how the heavily built prisoner, who is being held in isolation at Dame Phyllis Frost Centre in Deer Park, is considered so dangerous, staff are at “constant risk” from being attacked.
“She causes endless trouble by shouting, hitting and destroying items in her room.
“It’s so difficult for officers to deal with. Guards can’t keep everything from her so it’s a total nightmare for them.”
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Cheney is known to have assaulted at least three nurses and five prison guards since she was jailed for the 2007 attack on the student in the toilets in the university library toilets.
Cheney, who told police after the knife attack she had fantasised on going on a killing rampage, had laid in wait in the toilets before stabbing the woman she had never met twice in the back, lacerating her spleen and puncturing her lung.
She was sentenced to eight years in 2009 with a non-parole period of four and a half years for the attempted murder.
However she was then sentenced to six years in jail in 2013 for causing serious injury to a prison nurse and assaulting two prison officers in three separate incidents.
The court heard she assaulted the nurse because she had a “sudden urge to grab someone.”
She choked, punched and kicked her regular nurse, banged her head against the wall and then got on top of her and put her hand on her throat.
“I just wanted to hurt her,” Cheney told police afterwards, “It’s just that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Ten days after the vicious attack Cheney assaulted an experienced prison officer, grabbing her by the hair and smashing her head into the floor while being escorted from her cell.
Just over two weeks later, the prisoner then attacked a male guard, while handcuffed, hitting him in the face.
“Both the nurse and the guard never came back to work again,” a source said.
As a result of her diagnosed schizoid personality disorder, Cheney has now been in lock down in isolation 22 hours a day for several years. Her ongoing difficult conduct means the restrictions on her incarceration cannot be loosened.
For two hours each week the gym is closed just for her own use so that other prisoners are not in danger.
“Sarah just usually does some rowing. She can’t mix with other prisoners at all.
“She’s quite open about the fact she just wants to kill someone,
“The problem is she should probably be in a secure mental institution but it’s not safe for the staff,” the source told the Herald Sun.
“They are at serious risk from attack so she has to be kept in isolation.”