An inmate has been charged with the murder of a high-profile prisoner at a maximum security prison.
Western Australia Police said the 42-year-old man will face court via videolink on Friday.
It’s alleged he killed convicted child abductor Ashley Bropho in Perth’s Hakea Prison on the morning of Thursday March 9.
Bropho, who grew up with Cleo Smith abductor Terence Kelly, was found unresponsive in his cell, and despite the efforts of prison staff and paramedics to provide first aid, he couldn’t be revived.
The incident put two prison units into lockdown as investigations were immediately launched.
Hakea Prison is a maximum security facility in Canning Vale, about 16km south of the Perth CBD. Picture: 9NewsBropho grew up in the same home as Terence Kelly, who pleaded guilty to the abduction of Cleo Smith. Picture: WA Police
Bropho had been due to be sentenced the day after his death over the abduction of a nine-year-old girl from a park in the northern suburb of Doubleview.
He had appeared in the WA District Court only days before his death, where he confessed to luring the girl from the park in July by offering her fast food.
The court heard Bropho led the girl to his nearby home, where he kissed her on the lips, pushed her onto a bed, and exposed himself.
The man, who had an intellectual disability, was interrupted when his NDIS carer returned to the house, and the girl managed to flee.
Bropho, 40, was found unresponsive in his prison cell on the morning of Thursday, March 9, dying a short time later. Picture: 9News
Bropho grew up in the same home as Terence Kelly, the man who confessed to abducting Cleo Smith in October 2021 near Carnarvon.
He is the grandson of late Aboriginal elder Penny Walker, who adopted Kelly when he was two years old.
At the time of Bropho’s death, a spokesperson for the WA Prison Officers Union said tensions had been rising within Hakea “for several months”.
WAPOU Secretary Andy Smith said the prison was often overcrowded and understaffed.
“Incidents of this nature are clearly traumatic and stressful for our members, particularly for those who were first on the scene,” he said.
Hakea Prison in lockdown after death of ‘high profile’ inmate‘Tensions’ before inmate linked to Cleo killed
“Tensions have been rising in Hakea Prison for several months now, with overcrowding and understaffing frequently reported.
“In response, our officers have been forced to make adjustments to procedures in order to run the prison.”