TORONTO – A Superior Court judge has called upon the province to install surveillance cameras after an inmate was cut on the forehead Friday inside the courthouse.
Michael Monney, suffered a non-life threatening cut from a sharp-edged weapon while he was in a large holding cell with a dozen other inmates, said Justice John McMahon.
The judge said Monney is the fourth inmate in the past year that has been taken to hospital after being attacked in the holding cells of the 361 University Ave. courthouse.
“This court is extremely concerned about the safety of everyone in this courthouse, from the accused to the court officers and the public,” said McMahon, who urged the province to set up cameras in the holding cells and the front doors of the courthouse.
“I am hopeful that the Ministry of the Attorney General will act … before an accused person, court officer or someone in court loses their life or suffers serious bodily harm,” said McMahon.
McMahon asked Crown attorney Paul Zambonini to relay the message to the Ministry of Attorney General.
The judge said the surveillance cameras will help police solve cases of inmate assaults — thus thwarting the code of silence that engulfs jails and prisons — and help deter violent offenders who will be prosecuted.
Sandra Craig, the location adminstrator who in charge of the 89 court officers, told the court the victim “didn’t want to disclose who assaulted him.
“He was fearful,” said Craig.
Twenty potential weapons have been seized in the past year and six to eight were fashioned into “sharp-edged implements” known as shivs or shanks, said Craig.
Monney, 23, who is facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the Aug. 12, 2013 shooting death of Yusuf Ahmed, was taken by ambulance to St. Michael’s Hospital.
Ahmed, 21, was shot in broad daylight at a gated highrise complex on Armel Ct., near Albion Rd. and Hwy. 401.
Spokesman Brendan Crawley said the Ministry of the Attorney General takes the security concerns at 361 University “very seriously.
“There currently is an approved project underway to upgrade security at 361 University Ave. Part of this project includes new cameras for the secure interview and holding cell areas,” said Crawley. “This project is a priority for the ministry.”