A man on remand over the murder of a homeless man in Tweed Heads has been charged with attempted murder of a fellow Cessnock jail inmate.
A man on remand over the murder of a homeless man in Tweed Heads has been charged with attempted murder of a fellow Cessnock jail inmate.

Accused killer charged with prison razor attack

A man on remand charged with murdering a homeless man now stands accused of another vicious and random attack - this time allegedly using razors to slash a fellow inmate's throat.

Police will allege Kevin Pettiford chose his Cessnock jail victim because he was a loner who didn't appear to have relatives or friends inside or out of prison.

The 34-year-old is alleged to have slashed inmate Nathan Mellows' throat using a makeshift weapon made of three razor blades and a piece of plastic moulded into a handle, causing a gaping wound that required 13 staples to close.

His alleged victim is expected to survive.

However, police will allege Pettiford intended on killing the man, allegedly telling authorities he had delayed the intended killing on Christmas Day because he was busy watching the movie Star Wars, and again on Boxing Day because the cricket was on television.

Pettiford was formally interviewed by Hunter Valley detectives at Newcastle police station this morning before being charged with attempted murder.

He made a brief appearance in Newcastle Local Court, where he was flanked by a team of police as he sat in his orange prison overalls.

No application for bail was made and the matter was adjourned until March at Cessnock.

The new charge follows Pettiford's arrest last November over the random murder of a Byron Bay man sleeping rough at Tweed Heads.

The 56-year-old man was found still in his sleeping bag at Jack Evans Boat Harbour Park after being beaten to death.

A crime scene at Tweed Heads Jack Evans Boat Harbour Park where a man was found dead in a sleeping bag. Picture: Jodie Calcott.
A crime scene at Tweed Heads Jack Evans Boat Harbour Park where a man was found dead in a sleeping bag. Picture: Jodie Calcott.

Pettiford was arrested five days after the alleged Tweed Heads murder as he attempted to travel to Sydney aboard a bus.

Pettiford had not applied for bail on the Tweed Heads murder charge and was moved to the maximum security wing of Cessnock jail on remand.

It was there that he allegedly attacked the other male prisoner on December 28.

Police will allege closed circuit television footage of the bloody attack shows it appeared to be unprovoked and vicious.


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