'I've done terrible things to some innocent people'

The inmate seeking parole described a maelstrom of regret and frustration. (File)
The inmate seeking parole described a maelstrom of regret and frustration. (File) Lloyd Morgan/Flickr

AN INMATE has described his inner world of anger, regret and mental health problems as he made his case to be released on parole.

Christopher Michael Johnston has, by his own admission, done "terrible things to some innocent people” but on Monday said he was desperately trying to get help.

Johnston appeared by videolink from Maryborough for his parole hearing in Brisbane Supreme Court.

Previously of Goondiwindi, in 2013 he pleaded guilty to the armed robbery of Harrison's Health & Beauty Pharmacy in Toowoomba.

Three years later, finding out his son had died, he smashed his Maryborough cell window and threatened prison officers.

On Monday, Johnston said many of his problems stemmed from drug abuse and mental illness.

At the hearing, there was dispute about whether Johnston completed the Pathways high intensity substance abuse course in jail.

The Parole Board said he had not.

"I knew if I didn't finish it I didn't have a chance of parole. I honestly thought I completed it,” Johnston said.

But if it was found he had not finished the course, Johnston said he'd take part again.

Johnston said he'd been in trouble for losing his temper with prison guards.

"I always apologise. It's too late,” he told Justice Peter Davis.

"They haven't specified to me what institutional behaviour they want me to address,” he added.

"I'm not using it as an excuse. My teachers brought it up at school, my violent outbursts.”

He said he'd had schizophrenia since childhood when his brother died.

"I've brought this up with supervisors, general managers, the Ombudsman. I've been in hospital numerous times due to it.”

He added: "I haven't exactly shown good institutional behaviour. I need help out there.”

Johnston said his family were travelling about seven hours to see him in jail and he had a young daughter.

He had lost several relatives in recent years.

"I've got things I want to do out there. I just need that structure Your Honour.”

"I think I understand the case,” Justice Davis replied. "I need to go away and think about it.”

The judge said he would make his decision as soon as possible. - NewsRegional

Topics:  anger management christopher michael johnston drug abuse fccrime maryborough jail mental illness parole hearing rehab toowoomba crime violent crime

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