WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW
The father of a prisoner "beaten within an inch of his life" at Canberra's jail is angry he wasn't told his son had been attacked before he coincidentally found him in hospital.
David Christopher Laipato, 31, who has a lengthy criminal history, has been in the Alexander Maconochie Centre since January last year for violently assaulting the mother of his four-year-old child during an hour-and-a-half-long attack.
In that incident, he "dragged" her from one room to another, choked her, covered her mouth and nose, and said something to the effect of "I could f---ing kill you", before smirking and saying, "You'll be fine".
Laipato's father said he had been visiting his wife in Canberra Hospital about 8.50pm on Monday when he saw his son being taken on a stretcher from the emergency department to the intensive care unit.
Another family member said Laipato's heel had been slashed, he'd had cuts to his face and torso, and he had been unconscious when his father found him. Laipato was put in an induced coma on Monday.
Both family members who spoke to The Canberra Times asked not to be named.
Laipato's father said, "[A Corrective Services] officer said to me, 'How did you know we were here?' I told them I came past to see my wife in the ward.
"He asked if anyone from [the Alexander Maconochie Centre] had rung me and I said no.
"Why didn't these people contact me?"
A spokeswoman for the Justice and Community Safety Directorate confirmed Laipato had been involved in an "incident" at the jail about 4.15pm on Monday, and had been the only detainee - of a small number involved - taken to hospital.
She said police were investigating, and if prisoners were seriously injured or ill and admitted to hospital, it was up to a correctional facility's officer in charge to tell family members "as soon as practicable".
Authorities were unable to provide any details of the circumstances that led Laipato to be hospitalised.
"The policy and procedure was followed in this case," the spokeswoman said.
"However family member(s) were coincidentally present at the Canberra Hospital and were therefore informally made aware of the admission of the detainee prior to the official notification taking place.
"This was an unforeseeable and highly regrettable circumstance."
The spokeswoman said officers' main priority "was to ensure the secure transfer of the detainee to hospital for assessment and treatment of his injuries".
Laipato's other family member said Corrective Services had wanted to send Laipato back to jail on Thursday; a day after he got out of the coma.
The family member said it was terrible Laipato's father found out by coincidence his son had been injured, about five hours after he was allegedly attacked.
"'As soon as practicable' is not good enough, especially when it's someone's life. It should be immediate," he said.
"If you were on a job site, the injured [person's] next of kin would be there before they were even put into an ambulance, or they'd be waiting at the hospital for the person to arrive.
"How can they not jump on things quicker when someone gets beaten within an inch of their life?"
Laipato's father said someone from the Alexander Maconochie Centre called him to talk about his son's injuries after he gave the Corrective Services officer at Canberra Hospital his phone number.
This is not the first time Laipato has been assaulted in prison. During his sentencing last year, the court heard he needed 200 stitches after an earlier attack.