The Northern Territory news Sat 31 Jul 2021
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
SATURDAY JULY 31 2021 NEWS 39 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA through the rope and bolted and caught up with me. He was unbelievable, that dog. He smelt me out. When Shalala couldnt find a car, he hitchhiked. On the road between Beechworth and Wangaratta, he flagged down a semi-trailer. Shalala stepped out and Mick jumped in front of the truck and was run over. It broke my heart, said Shalala. Id brought him up since he was a little pup. Shalala got as far as Wangaratta, where he was picked up by two young women. One of them said Well stop and get some more beer, said Shalala. She stopped at Bendigo and she rang up the coppers: while I was sitting in the car, they turned up. Shalala was sent back to Pentridge. He was working in the engineers shop, where he watched another prisoner making an axe on the lathe. I didnt know I was going to wear it, he said. On November 11, 1975, Shalala was bashed by Reads mate Frank Waghorn. Read wrote that Waghorn could knock out a bull with one hit. Im no f..king bull, said Shalala, but he knocked me clean, blinded me. I was just fighting from memory, trying to get him off me. The fight made a shambles of Shalalas cell. Waghorn told him Read had put him up to it, so Shalala challenged Read to fight on the balcony. We had a bit of stink, said Shalala. I was about 76 kilos, he was about 110. Chopper was a big strong man, but no brains and, eventually, no ears but he couldnt fight. If hed grabbed hold of me, he couldve broken me in half, but I kept him at bay. I kept punching him then stepping back. Then, all of sudden, he pulled a skinny little knife and rushed at me. He grabbed me and swung me around on the railing. He was on top of me, bringing the knife down and pierced my skin just above my eye. Luckily for me, someone said, Screws are coming! So we broke it up. Shalala returned to his cell and began to clean it up. As I looked down, the sun was shining through from the big window next to my cell, he said. I saw a bloke behind me with something in his hand. All I could do was lean forward, pull away and turn around to look at him and thats when the axe came straight down. He got me with a glancing blow on the side of the head and opened me up. He went to swing a second time, but by then Id pushed away from him and reached for a knife Id made up to protect myself. So I pulled that, and he ran out. I thought hed taken half my head off, said Shalala. I thought, Thats it, Im gone. So this bloke has to come with me. The cell was just covered with blood. I was choking up on blood. I walked outside and everyone kept jumping out of the way. So I thought I must be a frightening sight. Shalala came after Read. He ran down to hide the axe, Shalala said. As he came back out into the yard, I saw him. I was yelling and screaming at him, and the screws were saying, Shalala, give us the knife! Give us the knife! And I was saying, F..k off. Finally, I collapsed from loss of blood and the screws rushed in. He was rushed by ambulance to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. The axe cut right through the bones in the side of my head, he said. His optic nerve was severed and they had to do microsurgery. Reads version of the fight, finally offered in prose in his last book, Road To Nowhere, was surprisingly close to Shalalas. He admitted he had set Waghorn on Shalala, that Shalala had hit him, and Read had tried but failed to stab Shalala, then come after him with an axe and chopped him in the head. He wrote of how he had left Shalala for dead, but Shalala had risen like a zombie and with these great globules of blood coming out of him, he started yelling that he wanted to fight me again. Read puzzled Shalala. He was going around attacking people for nothing, said Shalala, so everyone hated him. After I got hit with the axe, the other blokes in B Division just wanted him out of there. They said, Hes a maniac. Weve got to get rid of him. On January 24, 1976, Read was caught apparently trying to escape from B Division with his mate Jimmy Loughnan. They made it as far as the dark and cramped roof space above the library, where they crouched and consumed their escape supplies water, cordial, lollies and chocolate until they were found. I wrote about the escape attempt in Prison Break, but Shalala said that Read and Loughnan had no intention of escaping, The library goes nowhere, said Shalala. He wasnt trying to escape. He was trying to hide there until the screws found him, because he wanted to get down to H Division where it was safer. They wouldve killed him in B Division. EXPANDED EXTRACT FROM PRISON BREAK, SHANTARAM TO THE BANGKOK HILTON: THE WORLDS MOST WANTED AUSTRALIANS BY MARK DAPIN, PUBLISHED BY ALLEN & UNWIN, AUGUST 3, RRP $32.99 Prison Break Shantaram To The Bangkok Hilton by Mark Dapin. 39 Detectives lead Read into Melbournes Russell Street headquarters in 1979, four years after the axe attack. He had been charged after the attempted kidnapping of a judge; (below) Beechworth Prison from where axe attack victim Alec Shalala escaped before landing in Pentridge prison (main) where his path crossed that of Read. I thought hed take n half my head off. I thought, Thats it, Im gone. So this bloke has to come with me Axe attack victim A lec Shalala