A man convicted of murdering his newborn daughter is seeking tens of thousands of dollars in compensation, claiming he was denied access to a toaster during his time behind bars, among other grievances.
Raymond Ali has complained that he was either forced to miss meals or use a communal grill that other inmates used to cook ham, which goes against his Muslim faith, whilst he was detained at Woodford Correctional Centre, north of Brisbane.
The former butcher was handed a life sentence in 2000 after being found guilty of bashing his baby daughter Chahleen to death just minutes after she was born in 1998, before chopping up her body and burying it at his home in Logan Village, Queensland, reports The Australian.
Ali, who was released on parole and deported in 2017, is pursuing the discrimination claim from overseas and is seeking a sum of $20,000 in compensation.
The convicted killer lodged his complaint of direct and indirect discrimination with the Anti-Discrimination Commission, which has since been referred to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).
He claims that, despite most prison units having toasters and many prisoners able to have personal sandwich-makers, he was denied these at Woodford.
“It was impossible for me to wash the griller while 50 other inmates waited in the queue,” Ali wrote in an email. “This would have created a lot of violence in the unit.”
He also stated in the email that he complained to prison management, as well as three independent official visitors, about the toaster, however his request was still denied.
According to a judgement, posted online last month, Queensland Corrective Services sought to have the complaint thrown out, after the claimant failed to respond to requests for extra details, such as the dates between which he was denied access to a toaster and to demonstrate how he was treated less favourably than others.
However QCAT refused to strike out the complaint, allowing Ali extra time to provide the required additional information, claiming complex discrimination laws can be difficult for those without legal representation to understand.
The judgment also revealed that Ali raised complaints about being served non-halal meals, including a roast pork sandwich, pea and ham soup and a cheese and ham croissant, during a two-week stay at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Ali was previously awarded $3,000 by the same tribunal in 2013 after complaining that he was fed a vegetarian diet instead of halal food during a four month stint in Maryborough prison.