Matthew Johnson gets LIFE minimum 32 years


Victoria failed in its duty to protect the safety of jailed underworld kingpin Carl Williams, the Ombudsman has said.

In a report tabled in State Parliament this morning, Ombudsman George Brouwer found that Williams was placed in the high-security Acacia unit with Matthew Johnson despite significant risks having been identified.

Acting Corrections Commissioner Rod Wise wrote to Justice Department secretary Penny Armytage in January 2009, identifying risks to the safety of Williams.

“There is little doubt that Johnson is capable of causing Williams harm if he were to find out the true nature of Williams’ cooperation with police,” Mr Wise wrote.

Read the Ombudsman’s full report here

Despite the risks, Mr Wise and Ms Armytage supported the placement of Johnson with Williams.

They both told the Ombudsman that Victoria Police support for this move was an important factor in their decision-making.

Johnson formally requested to be transferred to Williams’ unit in December 2008, and Williams had also made the request.

In January 2010, Victoria Police also told Corrections of a dangerous rift between the underworld associates, warning Williams was one of two persons who were at risk of being murdered at Barwon Prison.

Fearing for his safety after the death threat, authorities moved Williams out of the Acacia unit for eight days, but again placed him with the other inmates after the threat was not substantiated.

Williams ‘fine’ with newspaper report

Experienced prison officers also admitted they had concerns over the placement of Williams and Johnson together well before the murder. However, action was not taken.

A supervisor with the prison’s intelligence unit blamed Corrections Victoria as well as Williams for the death, stating the high-profile inmate had no ”prison sense” and he could not understand how Corrections Victoria had let him be placed with a ”prison thug” like Johnson.

”How they ever let it happen I will not know,” the intelligence officer said.

”Basically … he was doomed.

”He appointed his own assassin are the words I have used, and I stick by it.”

Another prison officer described Johnson as a ”self-proclaimed leader of the prison gang”.

”I suppose Carl went down the path … I probably started to feel a little uneasy how the relationship would end,” the prison officer told the Ombudsman.

Another senior prison official admitted they did not take any action on concerns for Williams’ safety because they were not supported by evidence, and still believed there were not the grounds to have justified action prior to the attack.

Williams’ killer allowed to send emails with gun logo

Ombudsman George Brouwer found Corrections Victoria had enough intelligence before Williams’ murder that it should have had serious concerns for his safety, but it failed to consider the warnings or reassess the underworld figure’s placement in the Acacia unit.

A damning email sent by ‘Prison officer A’ in March 14, 2009, to senior prison staff revealed that other prisoners were aware that Williams was co-operating with police.

”These views, no matter how true or unfounded, may be the cause for concern to the safety of prisoner Williams and may be the cause of some sort of attempt to harm prisoner Williams or those around him,” the email states.

Although other officers agreed there was a safety threat, some stated they did not receive the message and no action was taken.

A review of letters written by Johnson after the murder revealed warnings about his placement with Williams, however the revelations were not recorded in the prison’s security checks until after the death.

In one letter to his cousin on April 5, 2010 Johnson warned of forthcoming media attention but said ”just don’t want you to worry … I’ll be sweet so don’t stress.”

A week later he wrote to another prisoner stating that Williams was ”not right in the head” and had gone insane.

The day before he beat Williams to death Johnson wrote to another prisoner that he expected to be kept in prison for a lot longer than previously sentenced; ”as for myself, I think that now I’ll have to hang around for a while longer. doesn’t matter, but coz (sic) I love this s–t,” Johnson wrote.

”I am the true general so I must keep things in good order.”

But operations manager of the prison intelligence unit Peter Hutchinson said he did not believe the details in Johnson’s letter were enough to justify removing Williams from the Acacia unit, even though his unit thought the expected ”media attention” related to Williams.

Williams was struck on the head several times with a metal object by Johnson on April 19, 2010, and dies of his injuries.

Corrections Victoria has been told to improve CCTV systems, retraining of staff, a review of procedures and other reforms.

Carl Williams’ father George did not want to comment when shown the report by the Herald Sun this morning.

“No one has told me nothing about it in two years,” Mr Williams said.

“They say it’s an ongoing investigation. How ongoing is it?”


UPDATE 11.40am: THE man who murdered gangland boss Carl Williams has been jailed for life.

Well no real surprises here that he got life, he knew the score and realised his future was always going to be in jail (if not for all the other crimes he would have committed if released) So he has fulfilled his self-confessed prophecy and its HOME SWEET HOME for Johnson. Maybe the authorities will choose his next cell mates a bit more wisely, if he gets any at all…And he will be doing it tough, as he won’t have the generous little kick of a couple hundred a month that Carl Williams old man, George was sending him prior to killing his son anymore…..

Listen to the Judge sentence this low life here…

The Premier and the General

Matthew Charles Johnson, 38, must serve at least 32 years for what Justice Lex Lasry described as “an appalling murder”.

Williams was bashed to death as he sat reading a newspaper in a Barwon Prison unit in April last year.

Johnson’s claim of self-defence was rejected by a Supreme Court jury and today Justice Lasry said it was a “fanciful” defence.

He said Johnson killed Williams because the underworld figure was helping police over the murders of police informer Terence Hodson and his wife Christine.

The judge said Johnson was the “General” of a prison gang called the Prisoners of War who hated anyone assisting police – and he could not be seen to condone what his cellmate Williams was doing.

Justice Lasry said Johnson seemed to think he had a “special entitlement to kill” and Williams had died as a result of a “meaningless prison code”.

He also hit out at prison authorities for housing Williams with Johnson, who has more than 150 convictions and a known hatred of criminals who assist police.

“How the prison authorities allowed that to happen is beyond me,” he said.

“On any view you were a threat to his welfare”.

Williams’s father George, ex-wife Roberta and her children were in court for the sentencing.


Matthew Johnson Found Guilty of Murdering Carl Williams

Matthew Johnson has been found guilty of Murder

UPDATE 08/12/11 Sentencing today

R v Matthew Charles Johnson (sentence)
Melbourne Court 4, 11:00am
Justice Lex Lasry

Johnson is set for sentencing at 11am (now) But Justice Lex Lasry will go through the crime and circumstances before he actually sentences him. Hopefully he will do that within an hour or 2….They like to go on a bit…

I expect the last words Johnson will hear before being carted back to Barwon will be life Imprisonment, and then as it will be his final appearance he will leave the judge with some fine words of wisdom…

Anyway I will put an update as soon as I get the info, I was thinking about going in for it, but apparently the scumbag’s loser friends don’t think that highly of me I hear….haha

Matthew Johnson Found Guilty of Murdering Carl Williams

Justice Lasry has just adjourned the court until tomorrow morning at 9.30am when further administrative applications will be heard and considered. Johnson has now been remanded to Barwon Prison until further hearing on plea and sentence.

MORE TO COME 3.50pm 29/09/11 scroll down to read what the jury didnt know about this KILLER

CARL Williams’ killer Matthew Charles Johnson has been found guilty of his murder.

The verdict was reached just before 3.23pm today after deliberations that took over 13 hours over two days.

The violent career criminal bashed the gangland identity to death with an exercise bike stem in a surprise attack caught on chilling security video.

But staff weren’t manning the cameras that captured Johnson approaching Williams, 39, from behind as he sat at a table reading the Herald Sun in his high-security Barwon prison unit on April 19 last year.

Johnson, 38, told the jury he acted in self-defence, claiming another prisoner warned him that Williams was going to attack him with a sock full of billiard balls so he had to get in first.

But a Supreme Court jury’s verdict means they didn’t believe the threat was ever made.

The trial sat for 14 days and heard explosive allegations made by Williams before his death, including that a corrupt policeman paid him to have police informer Terence Hodson executed.

The prosecution had argued that Johnson’s motive might have been Williams’ agreement to help police over the Hodson murder.

The jury weren’t told Johnson has well over 100 convictions, has spent most of his adult life in prison and has a history of bashing other inmates for “turning dog” or helping authorities.

The Premier and the General

A former concreter who didn’t finish high school, Johnson was a jail heavyweight and self-proclaimed “general” of a group of inmates who called themselves the Prisoners of War.

He wrote of his plans to kill Williams the day before he did, telling another inmate, “not much doing here brother, just D2TE (death to the enemy) the way it should be”.

“I think I’ll have to hang around for a while longer … doesn’t matter but coz I love this s—. I am the true general so I must keep things in good order, true.”

He told nobody of the threat by Williams and the man who allegedly conveyed the message, cellmate Tommy Ivanovic, did not give evidence at the trial.

Johnson claimed Williams treated him badly, looked down on him and told him he was disloyal for refusing to kill a policeman for him.

He said he feared retribution for his family outside if he reacted to Williams’ provocation.

“He was a killer. If you’re not going to take a threat that comes from his corner seriously there’s something wrong with you,” he told the jury.

The trial heard evidence from Williams’ father George, who once shared the unit with Williams and Johnson before his release on parole, and Roberta Williams.

The jury also heard details of Williams’ claims of high-reaching police corruption, including that former drug squad detective Paul Dale paid him to have Hodson killed so the informer would not be able to give evidence in Dale’s court case.






THE jury in the Matthew Johnson trial knew he was a criminal, but heard nothing of his frighteningly violent past.

More than a decade before he bashed Williams to death, he’d committed a strikingly similar crime in the very same unit of Barwon Prison – and claimed self-defence that time too.

And recently he faced a murder charge after an 18-year-old was shot dead over $50 worth of cannabis. That time, the jury believed him and he was cleared.

In 1998, he was part of a group of inmates that attacked a fellow prisoner for “giving information” to authorities – and used the same weapon he killed Williams with.

The victim of that beating, killer Greg Brazel, had been put into an Acacia unit exercise yard alone for his own safety.

But even prison walls were no match for Johnson and his cronies, who were set on attacking him.

Using a rowing machine and chair, the group pounded the armoured glass protecting Brazel for 45 minutes until they broke through, with Johnson then wielding a sandwich maker to inflict large gashes to his head.

A sandwich maker was something Johnson admitted to the jury he’d also considered using to kill Williams.

A prison officer reported seeing him use an exercise bike seat with the post attached to hit Brazel before punching and kicking him on the ground.

He ordered one of the others to stand guard and stop prison officers entering.

When charged over the assault, Johnson claimed Brazel had broken the glass himself and invited Johnson to enter before attacking him.

Johnson said he was forced to hit and kick him in self-defence.

During the County Court trial the group threw a bag of excrement into the jury box and Johnson broke wind into a microphone.

Later, Johnson menacingly called out to the juror that had been struck by the excrement – by name.

They were banished from their own hearing to watch proceedings from another room linked by video camera.

There his co-offenders bared their buttocks at the camera and the group disrupted the hearing with the Collingwood theme song.

Johnson was also involved in bashing another prisoner in 1995 after breaking into a protection unit.

By the time of the Brazel attack he had already racked up 132 convictions.

His shocking record includes taking part in the infamous Port Phillip Prison riot in 1998, armed robberies and break-ins.

He was accused of shooting dead a teenager in 2007 over a $50 drug purchase.

“Before the deceased could explain himself, Johnson pulled out a nine millimetre pistol and shot him in the chest,” the jury was told in that trial, with a co-offender giving evidence that he saw Johnson pull the trigger.

He was found not guilty of the crime. Johnson also recently pleaded guilty over a carjacking, in which he held up a mother and two teenagers at gunpoint as they sat in a McDonald’s car park

More here about that killing here

(Including some great debate and comment)

Carl "The Premier" Williams Cell
Once an exercise bike, now part of a crime scene
Who had the balls to kill who?