Man gets more jail time after pillow fight

Is the comfort of a familiar pillow really worth an additional stint in prison?

That was the question a young South Coast Correctional Centre inmate was left to ponder after an argument last July over the item of bedding yesterday resulted in a prolonged stay behind bars.

Joshua Ian Williams, 23, pleaded guilty in Wollongong Local Court to twice punching a Corrective Services officer in the head following an argument between the two over whether Williams could take the pillow he had been using from one cell to another in the Nowra facility.

The court heard Williams had been ordered to switch cells on the morning of July 13, but when he tried to take the original pillow with him, the accompanying Correctives guard stopped him.

Police documents say the following exchange took place between the duo:

Guard: "The pillow has to stay in the cell."

Williams: "I'm not going anywhere without my pillow."

Guard: "You have to leave the pillow in the cell."

Williams: "I'm not going anywhere without my pillow."

Guard: "I'm giving you a direction to leave the pillow in the cell as it is cell property."

Williams: "I'm not f---ing going anywhere without my pillow."

Guard: "Do you have a problem following directions?"

Williams: "I'm not f---ing going anywhere without my pillow you f---ing dog."

Williams admitted he then punched the male officer twice in the face.

The officer tried to defend himself and restrain Williams, who stopped his attack when another man came to the officer's aid.

The guard received medical attention for his injuries.

Fronting court yesterday, Williams gave a quiet chuckle when prosecutor Sergeant Seleena Gillmore referenced the pillow's involvement in the dispute.

However, his humour quickly evaporated as Magistrate Doug Dick told him the offence carried a maximum sentence of seven years' jail.

Williams' solicitor Fiona Jowett argued the Corrective Services officer had been aggressive towards her client and asked that Mr Dick consider non-custodial options for punishing Williams.

However, Mr Dick said such behaviour could not be tolerated and declared he had no option but to slap Williams with a jail sentence for his actions.

He set the term at a minimum nine months. Williams will be eligible for release in November.