Doctors working to save the life of a violent prisoner who had been stabbed up to 28 times this week made a strange discovery - he had a cellphone hidden in his rectum.
The Herald on Sunday understands the discovery was made only when scans were taken of the stab wounds suffered by rapist Tangi Nikoia, a Paremoremo Prison inmate.
Nikoia is serving a 16-year sentence after being convicted in November 2011 of six counts of violent and sexual offending, including rape of his former partner, and nine other charges of kidnapping and violence against her and their 9-year-old son.
Nikoia's mother, Maki, of South Auckland, said she learned only on Thursday, via another family member, that her son had been attacked in prison and taken to hospital.
"All I know is he is supposed to be stable and has been able to talk," she told the Herald on Sunday yesterday. "I heard he was stabbed."
She added: "I haven't been able to speak to Tangi as we have not been allowed to visit him. I don't know how bad his injuries are. It is very worrying."
Auckland District Health Board, the prison and Corrections officials refused to discuss the cellphone find, and would not even confirm Nikoia's condition last night.
But prison sources said a Samsung-model phone had been removed from his backside. It is also understood he had previously been in trouble for possession of a cellphone.
The source said: "They found the cellphone because they put him through a scan of some sort and the doctor asked, 'What's the metal?'
"Nikoia tried to deny there was anything up his bum but eventually the doctor got it out."
Whilst there's some amusement to be had from this story, it does illustrate the lengths that criminals will go to in order to hide illegal items. But it begs the question; did he have the vibrate turned on whilst the phone was "stored"?
And the boss of Auckland Prison has some wise advice:
Auckland Prison chief Thomas Sherlock confirmed a serious incident occurred between two prisoners on Tuesday. Our source said a rival gang member stabbed Nikoia.
He said cellphones hidden in body cavities did still work, so the moral of the story was: "Never buy a second-hand cellphone; you never know where it's been."
'Nuff said, wethinks!