Childers Backpackers murderer Robert Paul Long stands over geriatric prisoners in jail and abuses his job as a carer. nmates describe him as an ‘absolute grub'.
Childers Backpackers murderer Robert Paul Long stands over geriatric prisoners in jail and abuses his job as a carer. nmates describe him as an ‘absolute grub'.

‘Snaky little bastard’: Inside killer’s prison life

CHILDERS Backpackers murderer Robert Paul Long stands over geriatric prisoners in jail and abuses his job as a carer, a former inmate has claimed.

The former Wolston prisoner said Long was an "absolute grub" and unpopular loner and had gained weight from drinking Coke in jail which was a perk from trading other prisoner's food.

It comes after The Courier-Mail revealed Long, 57, had a job as a carer for geriatrics and was seen by jail staff as a "model prisoner" as he tries to get parole within weeks.

Long was jailed for 20 years over the Palace hostel fire in Childers which killed 15 people.

He was charged and convicted over the murder of twins Stacey and Kelly Slarke.

"He's a nasty little man,"the former prisoner told The Courier-Mail.

"But he bosses people around and he looks after himself.

Robert Paul Long has been described as a ‘nasty little man’.
Robert Paul Long has been described as a ‘nasty little man’.

"He won't be an asset in the community because he is a snaky, snaky, little bastard."

In his role Long would care for the older prisoners and take them to medical check-ups.

He would also take rubbish out, clean a table, mop a communal area and control food orders.

He would also potentially clothe and feed inmates if necessary but the former prisoner said he never saw Long have to take on those roles.

"Some of these guys, they fitted into jail life very well," he said.

"For people like Long, it is very cruisy."

A court sketch of Long sitting in court.
A court sketch of Long sitting in court.

The former prisoner said Long controlled the food in a cushy unit in the residential section of the jail which he described as a "retirement home". He said there was a black market trade in food and Long would order whatever he liked for "favours returned".

"He and I ran into arguments because he takes over and controls the food for the unit," the former prisoner said.

"When they build up a bit of a surplus they swap it around. And he gets other benefits from outside his little empire he runs.

Long would "watch you like a hawk" after a food order, then take it or ration it out, or it would also just disappear altogether.

"If I wanted a second serve of cereal or whatever that I had ordered they'd (carers) would come down on you like a tonne of bricks and say: 'No you're eating too much food'," the former inmate said.

"They'd physically carry the food off to their cells."

Long is flown from hospital after the fires.
Long is flown from hospital after the fires.

"It's sort of a supermarket setup there and you get your choice of a restricted range of cereals, sultanas, powdered milk, sugar," he said.

"He used to control it and he was cutting me out of my sultanas. I sniffed the breeze and worked out he was gaming the system."

The prisoner said the public shouldn't be fooled into thinking Long had redeemed himself and he was living a good life in the residential section.

"If you graduate and a vacancy goes up you go to residential, it's like a retirement home really," he said.

Long working on a zucchini farm.
Long working on a zucchini farm.

"In secure you have got the exercise yard and it's all under mesh, it's like you are in a big cage.

"When you get to res, there is tennis courts, gymnasiums, there is garden areas. It is pretty cruisy there."

The former prisoner said Long was short but had a "big pot belly on him" which was "quite vulgar" and estimated he weighed 85-90kg.

"He got the pot belly because he used to drink a lot of Coke," he said.

"I figured one of the kickbacks was that if he got food and fed it out, bacon or whatever else, he would get rewarded with tokens. And tokens buy you things like Coke. I only ever saw him drink Coke."

Long would sit at a table with other carers and would share a joke.

"If he wasn't a carer I think he would have struggled a bit," the former prisoner said.

"He kept to himself. He is a loner. I didn't see him mixing with anybody else other than carers.

"He never seemed to not have a Coke. He lived well and he drank well, for what it's worth."

Originally published as 'Snaky little bastard': Inside Long's prison life


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