The Daily has taken a look at some of the most notorious criminals who have spent time at Woodford Correctional Centre over the years. They include John Brian Woodman Rick Thorburn and Brenton Brian Chettle (left to right).
The Daily has taken a look at some of the most notorious criminals who have spent time at Woodford Correctional Centre over the years. They include John Brian Woodman Rick Thorburn and Brenton Brian Chettle (left to right).

‘Scumbags’: Woodford jail’s most notorious inmates

Woodford Correctional Centre has a 23-year history of housing some of the state's most violent inmates including murderers, drug dealers, armed robbers and more.

The Sunshine Coast Daily has taken a look at some of the prison's most notorious inmates since the jail opened in 1997 and offered insight from those who shared the walls with them.

The centre, which houses almost 1000 inmates, is specifically designed for high security prisoners and contains a maximum security unit.

A source from inside the prison said the centre contained inmates on all kinds of charges.

Jailhouse shock: The crimes from inside Woodford walls

'Into the lion's den': MP's former life of fear, violence

"There's the man who shot that copper on the Gold Coast as he walked out of the pub, he's in here," the source said.

"Murderers, drug dealers, drink drivers, we get them all.

"We had that man Woodman who killed all those people out Toowoomba way and raped one of their girlfriends."

 

 

The source said prison life was not a job for the faint hearted.

"You just deal with them like they're normal people. If they give you grief, give it back," the officer said.

"But you can't say it doesn't make you nervous. You have to have your guard up dealing with scumbags every day.

"Police lock them up but we have to live with them.

"Sometimes days get tough, yeah."

Labor member for Caloundra Jason Hunt, an ex-custodial officer for 21 years, spoke about his former life in his first parliamentary address earlier in the week.

Mr Hunt described it as "walking into the lion's den".

"On many occasions we were quite literally locked in a room with some of society's most violent and dangerous criminals," Mr Hunt said.

"A new officer will march into a centre with barely 10 weeks' training and from day one, they are one of two or a trio who (are) locked inside a high security unit of 50-90 prisoners, none of whom are favourably disposed towards staff."

Below is a look at some of Woodford's most notorious inmates, some of whom are still at the centre.

Brenton Brian Chettle

It was from an ice-fuelled rage fit when Brenton Brian Chettle was jailed for attempting to "execute" his neighbour.

Chettle had earlier dragged him out of bed and had drove the knife repeatedly into the man's stomach and later sliced his throat.

The man needed extensive surgery to save his life.

Brenton Brian Chettle.
Brenton Brian Chettle.

Chettle had been taking methamphetamine for 11 or 12 days straight when he attacked the man at Morayfield in May of 2016.

The 26-year-old former Nambour resident also received a further three years in jail for a brutal 20-second assault on an unsuspecting prisoner in Woodford Correctional Centre, while on remand for the attack on his neighbour.

In the 2018 attack, Chettle walked up to a fellow inmate and smashed him in the head with his fists.

With time served, Chettle will be eligible for parole on June 1, 2026.

John Brian Woodman

A triple murderer and rapist, Woodman was sentenced to life behind bars for killing Michael Thompson, David Lyons and Tyson Wilson in a Toowoomba flat in 2005.

The victims were beaten to death with metal poles and Mr Thompson was also brutalised with a hammer.

Woodman also viciously bashed a prison officer at the Woodford Correctional Centre in 2014.

The guard was repeatedly punched in the face until he fell to the ground, where Woodman kicked him and stomped on his head.

Brendon Abbott

The infamous Brendon Abbott, aka the Postcard Bandit, had a stint inside Woodford but its understood he is no longer housed there.

Abbott gained notoriety for bank robberies and prison escapes dating back to 1989.

He was dubbed the Postcard Bandit by detectives who found pictures of the fugitive when raiding a house he'd stayed at, who told the officers a story that he's sent postcards to police while on the run.

Abbott has a parole release date of 2033.

Stephen Jay Breen

Career criminal Breen is in midst of two life sentences for attempting to murder two prisoners at the Maryborough Correctional Centre in 2009 and 2011.

During his time at Woodford in August 2015, Breen threw a concoction of bodily fluids at prison officers.

He carries the infectious hepatitis C disease.

He has a parole eligibility date of 2036.

Jacob Michael Smith

Smith was jailed after he wrapped a sheet around the neck of a woman, placed a pillow over her face and smothered and strangled her to death.

He will be eligible for parole in 2039.

Justin David Lown

Justin David Lown, 25.
Justin David Lown, 25.

Young dad Lown was jailed for his involvement in a violent robbery where a prominent Sunshine Coast real estate agent was lured and bashed.

He pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery in company using personal violence, and one count of robbery.

Lown was sentenced to three years in jail with a parole release date for July 2021.

His co-accused, Justin French, was sentenced to four years jail.

Rick Thorburn

Child murderer was transferred to Woodford Correctional Centre in 2018 after authorities believed he could have been killed on the inside if he remained at another centre.

Thorburn murdered his 12-year-old foster child Tiahleigh Palmer and was sentenced to life for the sickening crime.

After killing her, Thorburn dumped Tiahleigh's body on a riverbank and with his family lied to investigators about what happened.



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