Mass Murderer Denied PlayStation In Prison, Takes Legal Action

In 1987, Julian Knight shot and killed seven people in Clifton Hill, Melbourne. A further 22 were wounded. He's currently serving seven life sentences.

He is also now taking the local state's corrections department to court because they won't let him have a video game console.

Knight first requested to have a personal computer in his cell seven years ago, but was knocked back. He's since made a further seven attempts, none of which were successful.

Corrections Victoria's (the local corrections department) decision to also block his 2009 request for a "PlayStation" (it's not specified which) has led him to say he is being "unfairly treated", as other prisoners have been granted similar requests. So he's taking his case to the Supreme Court, seeking not only the PlayStation, but the granting of his original request for a PC as well.

This is not a joke.

Knight is in prison having been convicted of the Hoddle Street Massacre, as it became known. A former army cadet, on the evening of August 9, 1987, he climbed atop a billboard - armed with two rifles and a shotgun - and fired at numerous passing cars (as well as a police helicopter) on the Melbourne street.

Hoddle St killer Julian Knight launches legal action over decision not to allow him a PlayStation in his cell [Herald Sun]


    Sure does sound like a joke. Prison isn't meant to be a nice place. Hahaha

    Knight has a history of bringing lawsuits from prison. He was deemed a vexatious litigant in 2004 which is a recognition that many of his claims are frivolous and wastes of time.

      Thanks man, there is always more to these stories..

      Last edited 15/05/13 3:43 pm

        He has been advised that he can have an xBox 360 without built in wireless. Apparently all PS3s have wireless capabilities, and as they won't jam signals in most Aussie prisons, it seems to be quite a fair stance.

        Also, he killed people. So that's a pretty good reason to tell him no to almost anything.

        Furthermore, I read about this a while ago, why is Plunkett waiting for mainstream VIC media to dig this up so he can re-post it? Are you guys journalist or bloggers? If you're bloggers then you should only be sharing ad revenue and not be drawing a wage for this shite...

          I thought i read this a while ago, dont see why they wouldnt just have a secured wireless network but i still agree that he shouldnt get the playstation. Prisons are not as bad as they should be, 3 meals a day and foxtel in your cell is better than some families can afford

      If I was serving seven life sentences, I would fuck around the courts too.

      It's not like he has anything better to do, given that he doesn't have a Playstation.

      Last edited 16/05/13 12:20 pm

    If other people have had similar requests filled, I don't see why he shouldn't.

      Did the other people kill 7 people?

      If you say prisoners shouldn't be treated differently because of the severity of their crimes, I've lost faith in humanity... This shit doesn't deserve a console, he doesn't deserve the time of day.

      He should be happy he's fed 3 times a day and clothed.

      Last edited 15/05/13 3:22 pm

        All killers are beyond redemption, then? Or is it like some kind of video game reputation bar where the more you do in one sitting, the further the bar goes into the black, only there's no rep grind you can do to crawl out of it? I'm sure prison is well known for the opportunities it provides people to perform redemptive acts. And we keep these wastes of space alive, why? They're beyond help and they don't deserve to be treated well, so we're just keeping them miserable as a way to torture them before they eventually die anyway? What the hell does that make us?

        And you're the one who's lost faith in humanity?

        (Edit: Not that he's done anything to deserve the thing, if you read the linked article, I just take issue with the sentiment that criminals aren't being punished enough by being denied liberty, but that their incarceration should be miserable in some form of vengeance.)

        Last edited 15/05/13 4:12 pm

          ...and I would downvote yours

          Sympathising with a mass murder who has "denied liberty" to seven innocent people.. yeah he deserves to be miserable, not sitting in prison playing a fucking playstation

          we're just keeping them miserable as a way to torture them before they eventually die anyway?

          Yep..... pretty much....

          What the hell does that make us?

          A society that believes that murdering 7 people in cold blood is not acceptable behaviour for any person whom wishes to be a part of it.

          I'm not a supporter of capital punishment, but I do *not* see any reason why people who have committed such disgusting acts against fellow humans should be granted any sort of luxuries. We aren't talking about torture or inhumane treatment here, he is simply being denied what even some free, law abiding citizens do not have access too.
          As far as I'm concerned, this guy should be able to use a playstation and/or PC when the people he murdered are able to......

            I completely agree edenist.

            That's not only sick and disgusting in its sadism, it's also stupid.

            Forget the specifics of a game console vs tv or books, the fact is that human beings need entertainment to stay sane (or avoid deeper insanity). Just like exercise and sunlight. If you deny people those things, you're going to break them as 'people'. It's like poking a dog with a stick every day in its cage. Only one day, you're going to have to let that dog out of its cage and live with it, and it's not going to behave well when it's out.

            Prison can serve 3 purposes.
            1) Protection for the populace. They're dangerous, we remove them as dangers so people can live safer lives.

            2) Rehabilitation - leading on from 1, it assumes that at some point they can be made not/less dangerous, and released back into the populace, less likely to do harm. Unless you intend to keep someone locked away forever, this is obviously a sensible thing to do. If you're going to keep someone locked away forever... why? They might as well be dead. What are you gaining, morally, from keeping someone alive but miserable? Nothing. You are not contributing good to the world, and no-one learns anything or improves anything ever. Have you ever kept a journal? Go back and read entries from 20yrs ago and ask yourself if any of your worldviews or opinions have changed, if you're a different - wiser - person.

            3) Revenge/punishment. Almost completely incompatible with 2. We inflict hardships to make ourselves feel better, hoping it will serve as a deterrent to those considering unacceptable behaviour and some pointless sense of schadenfreude. Nothing is actually made better in the lives of victims or their families; they just 'feel' better knowing that someone who caused them misery is being miserable in return. If you follow the somewhat hypocritical morality that simply killing them isn't acceptable and we must be 'good' human beings and let them live - and at some point, release them - this option becomes even more absurd and self-defeating as you release someone you inflicted low-grade torture on into a populace and expect... what? Reformation?

            See Weresmurf's comment below where he advocates for a bullet to the temple. That's a lot less incongruous - it becomes all about option 1, in a very final sense. You believe in rehabilitation or you don't. If you do, commit to it without poking the dog in the cage. If you don't, well... you're out numbered, but advocate for something permanent, not just the cartoon villainesque, "Keep him alive. I want him to suffer," sadism route.

            Last edited 16/05/13 2:08 am

              Your comments are also based on the assumption that a person who willing shot at almost 30 people deserves to be treated as a human. He was a rabid dog, and should have been put down as such. Even if you poke him with a stick, there's no way he's ever being released from prison, and if he is then the justice system has failed.

                Ahh, Justice. I don't know about 'justice system', but legal system, perhaps?

                Law isn't Justice, and people should never confuse the two - for their own sanity, really. People think they want Justice, but justice means different things to different people. The Law, while ambiguous enough to be wrangled by lawyers, is still a great deal more concrete.

                It keeps things fairly even, to an extent. It's why we DO give privileges to prisoners (that, and keeping them under control, which is probably the more important reason), and it's why people who are affected by a crime aren't allowed to make the decisions as to what happens to the perpetrator. The legal system makes a pretty big deal about not letting people make decisions if they're in any way connected to the crime or its victims.

                If we all believed in justice... well. We'd need to accept that it's relative.
                There's a pretty serious problem with 'eye for an eye'.

                Example of Justice:
                If some foreigner came to your country hunting a dangerous murder and they killed your family as collateral damage due to proximity, when you and your family didn't like or even know the criminal being pursued, would it be justice for you to hunt down the foreigner and torture or kill him? Or his family, the way he killed yours?

                That would be justice, but I'm pretty sure those here hollering for bloody vengeance-disguised-as-justice would take serious issue with orphaned Afghanis coming over here and killing our soldiers or the families of our soldiers.

                Law allows some discretion for circumstances, but by and large aims to prevent the escalation that comes from vengeance, such as what used to create giant family-wide feuds and gang wars, which often had/have collateral damage, dragging even more people into the cycle of vengeance/justice.

                Last edited 16/05/13 1:00 pm

                  Ok, so maybe I've misused the term Justice. I do agree with a lot of what you've said, you do make some very good points. I do agree that to treat murderers without the same rights as everyone else is wrong, but part of me draws the line at mass murders... People who pre-meditated the death of multiple people however... Seriously, go and read the re-creation of the events in Port Arthur and tell me if Martyn Bryant deserves the same rights as everyone else:

                  Murders, crimes of passion, lapses in judgement... These I can understand and respect that a person maybe be worth rehabilitation. But to end multiple lives and hurt hundreds of people in the process (most of them not even involved in the attack, but rather those that have lost loved ones)... you really don't deserve the time of day, your name should be lost and any recounting of the event should focus on the people lost and not the fuckhead who decided today was a good day for other people to di.

                  Last edited 16/05/13 1:09 pm

                  @soulblade64 - Personally I almost agree, on the specific instance of the irredeemable mass-murderer, the wastes of space who I can't understand why we keep alive. It would have been so much simpler if the cops who took him down had been able to have a convenient excuse to put a bullet in him, in the heat of the moment, with lives still at risk... Which is a fairly scary thought when you consider how far people could extend that power in other situations. Cops are (sometimes deeply flawed) people too, and if history and other nations have taught us anything (and to an extent our own), it's just how bad things can get when the temptation is too great to abuse that power.

                  A quarter of a century later? Maybe these fuckers aren't really human in the ways that matter. But to willingly inflict endless suffering on them for vengeance's sake says bad things about us. A dog goes bad and bites people... we put it down, we don't put it in a cage and poke it for the rest of its life. We're not getting anything out of it. It's not helping us or anyone. Nothing brings back the dead, and vengeance is hollow. (If you've ever had an opportunity to take out some personal vengeance, you might already know.)

                  Maybe a vile creature like a mass-murderer can realign themselves internally into something human, but even with the shattered trust of a community, they won't actively take part in it behind bars... so why do we bother? Because of religion/spirituality? (Why do we have ceremonial burial/cremation, when all that's neccessary is body-disposal for hygeine purposes?) We're weird like that. Maybe it's because of that long-shot that they'll know remorse and become useful in some way again.

                  (This guy doesn't seem to, his primary complaint seems to be access to a computer so he can research his appeals. So. Yeah. Good luck with that.)

                  A quarter of a century later? Maybe these fuckers aren't really human in the ways that matter. But to willingly inflict endless suffering on them for vengeance's sake says bad things about us.

                  When I've been saying that mass murderers shouldn't get the time of day, I didn't quite mean that literally. Prisoners are entitled to basic rights, my problem is when they get turned down for a luxury and throw a trantrum like a 5 year old would because you won't buy him a GTA game.

              I like people like you, there needs to be more folks with as much desire to look at shit from a different angle; However, this dude murdered 7 unarmed/innocent/defenseless people and tried to kill 30 more...

              I think you should probably pick your battles a bit more compassionately and wisely, you wouldn't be crapping on about "what's the point of prison" in a comment section on a gaming news website (of all places) if it had been your mum/grandma/brother/dog etc who got their day fucked up by this asshole who now thinks it's appropriate to (effectively) demand entertainment while in prison for MURDERING PEOPLE.

              Discretion is the better part of telling-people-about-the-other-side-of-shit.

                There is nothing wrong with looking at things logically.

                Obviously emotion plays a part in our day to day lives, but when it comes to applied morality on grand scales such as politics and law and order, then we can't let emotion get in the way of doing the right and appropriate thing, otherwise we get dogmas like the Republican party's at the moment.

                Using the argument that he's stepping on emotional toes has no place in a discussion on law and order. It's dismissive and a fallacy, saying his argument isn't valued because it's insensitive.

                Okay, he murdered people. It's awful and absolutely terrible, but there are things we need to consider in order to logically and effectively arrive at the correct course of action, like the mental health of the killer (which obviously isn't too great, considering he murdered seven people - what drives someone to do that? That isn't sane behavior), and as transientmind stated, the consideration of what use prisons serve (i.e protection of the populace, rehabilitation, punishment).

                While I don't agree in giving the guy a PS3, I agree with transientmind in that we need to take this into consideration,

                the fact is that human beings need entertainment to stay sane (or avoid deeper insanity)

                when approaching the needs of this man. Considering that the man most likely has a serious mental illness, perhaps we should be giving him something to keep him somewhat stimulated.

                My solution? Give the dude some goddamn books. He'll learn something, he'll be stimulated (because it is a human need, and I personally think a right, to have some source of stimulation), and he'll stay out of trouble (and if he doesn't, send him more books the more he fucks around). Everybody wins, and everybody is happy; utilitarianism for all.

                Last edited 16/05/13 12:38 pm

                  In this one very specific instance, I'm pretty sure the guy has access to plenty of entertainment anyway, books and whatnot... It seems from the original article that his main argument is he wants access to a computer so he can research case law to prop up his continued appeals.

                Thanks. I'm always vaguely uncomfortable when people agree with positions I do for what I consider to be completely the wrong reason.

                I don't think this guy deserves a playstation. He's clearly an asshole who makes a nuisance of himself and from reading the linked article I'm pretty confident once he got it he'd find something else to complain about, like he's made a habit of.

                People above have said he doesn't deserve privileges if he's just going to squander them or doesn't appreciate them or is breaking rules and being a dick. I don't object to that.

                I object to people saying he doesn't deserve to be treated like a human being because he's a convicted murderer in prison. That's tarring a lot of folks with the same brush, which is not reasonable. To go further and say that murderers deserve to be locked up forever to live a meaningless life of being treated like animals for the sadistic pleasure of other people?

                That's really unhealthy.

                  You were really selling your point of view to me, right up to the second last line. I object to people saying he shouldn't be treated like a human too, and however much I can appreciate the sentiment of your extrapolation it's still a little over the top. The idea that people or society would derive pleasure (sadistic or otherwise) from knowing that this asshole is rotting in jail seems a little unlikely.

                  I reckon you're confusing enjoyment with the feeling of justice-being-done; I dig justice, big-time, and I'm pretty sure most good minded people do too. Knowing that some murderous prick is eating the shittiest of shit food on a shitty tray with a shitty plastic fork puts a smile on my face, not because I enjoy the thought of his suffering (which is negligible to say the least) but because I feel that justice has been served to a degree which favours neither the justice-seekers nor the criminal himself. That makes me feel good.

          I'd really love to know how giving him a Playstation, over say a book, will redeem him. It's not, it's rewarding him.


        If I was a member I would upvote your comment - well said

        Dude had one bad day and screwed up and everyone throws civility right out the window.

          We all have bad days... when was the last time you murdered 7 people and wounded 20 others? "Screwed up" is surely reserved for someone who gets a parking ticket or a speeding fine...

          What about the "victims" rights? Douchebag.

          A bad day is justification for murdering 7 people? what kind of inane viewpoint is that?

          I hope your being Sarcastic here.

          A Bad day? He went and randomly murdered 7 people, wounded 19 others that's not a bad day, that's somebody who has chosen not to live with the rest of us.

          If you read the linked article it's implied he wants a computer to further stupid lawsuits, where as other prisoners may want it to attempt to learn how to be rehabilitated. Intention of Use is everything.

      Knight has killed 7 people, made a mockery of the court process and through it all chewed through millions of dollars of tax payer money alone.

      Seriously, we the tax payer are the ones who foot the bill for his "privileges" and the cost of his legal battles.

    If it's something that prisoners are allowed to have, then he should be allowed to have it.

    His punishment is the loss of freedom, not the loss of playstation. Prisons use TV's and computers as a reward system for good behaviour. So, if he is behaving well in prison, let him have it.

    By not letting him have these privileges we've now created publicity for this scumbag, which would be salt in the wounds of all the victims families.

      "If it's something that prisoners are allowed to have, then he should be allowed to have it."

      There were once 7 people who had the right to live the remainder of their lives. Knight put an end to that.

      Why should he, the aggressor, have more rights and privileges than his victims? Need I also point out that it is us tax payers that foot the bill for these privileges and his legal costs?

      Knight has wasted enough of the court's time and tax payer money so I say it's time some of these privileges be revoked.

      I personally would see it as more of an insult to the victims families if he's given a Playstation. It's not like any of the victims can enjoy lifes luxuries... because you know... they're dead.

    This is the only guy Chopper Read wishes he killed, believe it or not.

    Well he is elligable for parole next year anyway, just in time for the PS4.

    seriously, the same article published twice only an hour apart...
    i say introduce the death penalty and we wont have stupid articles like this

      That seems a little drastic... Why should journalists get the death penalty for stupid articles? :)

        lol you dumb ass
        i dont mean the death penalty for the journo...
        i meant it for the crazy ass loser that killed half a dozen people, its not the journalists fault

          I know... the :) at the end meant I was joking.

            sorry, but its just hard to portray tone via text
            such as

        Your honour, the prosecution rests.

    Give him a Nokia N-gage. He would be over gaming in a minute.

      You cannot be serious! What has the N-gage done to deserve that kind of punishment?

      If you read the article, he was actually offered a WiiU but refused. ;)

        There's no murder simulator on the Wii U


        There is a reason people in the Department of Justice refer to the Herald Sun as the Herald Scum.

        I am curious about the offer of a Wii U for this reason, since no prison in the state is allowed to have wireless accessible consoles (ie nothing with build in online capabilities). Also where is it mentioned? I can't see it anywhere.

          No... everyone refers to it as the Herald Scum... not jsut the DoJ!

          Had a tough day at work so was a throw away joke about how poor the demand is for the WiiU :) sorry I was just bored.

    Nobody in prison should have those requests granted. You want to be entertained? Read a god damn book. You're not on holiday. You don't get perks.

    They should let him have a PlayStation but no controllers. MWAHAHAHAHAHA.

      They should do what Sony did.. give him a controller but no console... he could draw a TV on his cell wall and be all like "pew pew pew"..

      *it was at this point Shady realised that making shooting noises in the context of this article may not be appropriate*

      I'll leave now.

    the people he killed will never get to play a playstation, why should he

    give him an xbox and a kinect or better yet a ps3 with move and only wonderbook: book of spells, see how long he can last before going insane

      I think there's an opportunity here to get him a nintendo 64 with superman64 and be done with it.

    Give him a PSOne and Final Fantasy 7, but no memory card so he can't save his game.

      You do know he does kinda have all time in the world to play and could just leave the PS turned on. How about another caveat that he has a timer turning the console off every ten hours? It has to be long enough that he can make progress each time. ;)

      I recall reading something in/on the FFVII manual challenging players to play the game without a memory card. Like gus said, he has all the time to grind his levels :T

      Now if you were talking about FFXIII on a PS3 that can not save games (that will always turn off after an hour of inactivity)...

        Whether or not you can save your game doesn't matter; FFXIII is torture enough.

          True as that may be, imagine having to play through the beginning over and over again.

    Dark/Demon Souls seems a fitting punishment for his crime.

      DeS and DS are babby tier. Give him Youhu. Blinfolded.

    I'm sorry, but to me this is quite simple.

    Our soldiers who fight and die overseas to protect this country and the rights and privileges we enjoy eat army rations, with few showers, live in tents, and get shot at - sometimes on a daily basis.

    Why should criminals, in most instances the scum of society, get better treatment? Build a concentration camp in the middle of Australia, tents to live in, and showers once a week, fed on army rations.

    The fact is currently they live better then some average citizens, are well fed, looked after medically, and are even able to study and gain qualifications if they're willing to. Yet they bitch and whinge about not being able to get a PS2? Pull your head out of your ass mate, your a criminal, beyond that, your a murderer - you should have been shot on site. Don't like prison? To bad, you made the choice to take the actions that put you there - stfu and live with your choices.

      Remember that prison does serve to rehabilitate, not just to punish.

      I do agree that it is a problem that some criminals live better than some citizens, although I don't think that's a problem with the prison system, but a problem with our economy.

      I also don't agree with giving the guy a Playstation, by the way. Give him some books.

      Last edited 16/05/13 12:49 pm

    No. Just no. Why? DVD's have been used in Prison before to stab people to death surprisingly. How? They snap the CD into shards, then stick the shard into the tracheal artery in the victims neck. What are playstation games on? DVD's and Blurays!

      Got news for you, mate. Prisons still allow CD's. And various other items can be used to stab people to death

        Indeed, amazes me why they do. Well aware they do, but its just one reason why you'd say no. You can make a lethal weapon out of anything. One guy made it out of his PILLOW STUFFING. Synthetic stuffing, he melted it down into a paste which was then rock hard, then managed to sharpen it into a shiv. Was freakin' unreal what they managed to do.

        With a little creativity and good positioning, pretty much anything can be a weapon. Hell, even a good table corner, in the right situation, can be as damaging as a knife - it's just down to ease of use or improving the range of situational advantage.

        With, perhaps, the exception of nail clippers on airplanes. That's always baffled me. As far as weapons go, I think I'd prefer any opponents I had to be armed with nail-clippers if it meant they weren't using, say... their far more dangerous bare hands.

    Fuck him. He's fed and clothed which is probably more than he deserves. If he'd behaved excellently while in prison then no doubt being denied some privileges that others had been given for excellent behaviour would be unfair.

    However according to the above article he's wasted over $400k in public funds just through frivolous lawsuits already - so fuck him.

    My uncle was one of the police on the scene that day at Hoddle Street, he saw the horrific result of what that asshole did. He doesn't need a playstation, he needs a bullet to his temple. He wants a playstation?

    How about the family members of Dusan Flajnik, Robert Mitchell, Gina Papaioannou, Johnny Muscat, Tracey Skinner, Kenneth Stanton and Vesna Markovska all get them brought back to life first, then we'll consider it. Piece of shit should have been executed. Pity we don't have the death penalty. Seven good people died that day and this piece of excrement goes on to waste our courts time with bullshit requests like this.

    Last edited 15/05/13 6:14 pm

      If you can show that the death penalty can be implemented for people who show no possibility of rehabilitation and with a 0% chance of false executions, I'll be right behind you. But you can't.

      My uncle was falsely imprisoned for homicide and after spending seven years in prison as a model inmate, watching his children grow up and his wife slowly wither away from cancer, I can never support the death penalty. There are false imprisonments and there would be false executions.

        Indeed. Ironically I 110% agree with you. Just one wrong person executed (and theres been a few already) and its not worth the risk.

    A lot of people seem to be missing the point of prison. Theoretically, it's only punishment as a secondary concern. The main reason we have prisons (in theory) is a two pronged approach to having a healthier society.
    1. Harm minimisation - by having dangerous people removed from society, we have a safer society and we have lowered the chances that 'good' citizens will come to harm.
    2. Rehabilitation - If we are forced to take these people and care for them in order to keep the rest of society safe, we should be doing everything we can in order to make them able to return to society. That's why we spend a lot of tax money every year on education and skills training, psychological help, and socialising programs for prison inmates.

    The second one is extremely important and a lot of people seem to forget about it. If someone who has committed a crime and deserves to be imprisoned, but isn't worth the time, money and energy to rehanilitate, why so we bother with prisons at all? Why not just kill everyone who commits a violent, or otherwise imprisonable infraction?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now