Not all inmates in NSW are locked behind razor wire around the clock.
Mannus Correctional Centre is a minimum security prison located 515km south of Sydney, 115km south-east of Wagga Wagga and approximately 10 km from the town of Tumbarumba.
Inmates often roam the exterior of the prison undertaking work duties like gardening and repairs – smelling the sweet aroma of freedom.
The temptation of being outside prison fences was all too much for one 20-year-old inmate, who legged it to liberty as snow fell in the picturesque countryside of Tumbarumba and Batlow.
It must have been exhilarating at the start, but it all became too much for the man when his prison greens failed to keep out the blistering cold.
After 5 hour on the run, the man made a 000 call from a payphone in Jingellic, 35 kilometres away from the prison, distressed and complaining of hypothermia.
Police quickly attended, arresting the escapee and returning him to the warmth of his prison cell.
This is not the first time temptation has proved too much for Mannus prison inmates – not even the first time this year.
At around 5.30pm on 7th April 2016, 45-year-old Artur Wojik made a similar escape. Prison staff claimed they did not know he was gone until the next morning’s muster.
And earlier this month, 28-year-old Jason Hyatt made his own dash for freedom, only to be “arrested without incident” on 13th July.
Escaping Lawful Custody
Section 310D of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prescribes a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for any inmate who:
(a) escapes or attempts to escape from lawful custody, or
(b) having been temporarily released from lawful custody, fails to return to lawful custody at the end of the time for which the inmate has been released.
The penalty is normally ‘cumulative’ – meaning it starts from the end of the person’s existing prison sentence.
There are a number of possible defences to the charge, including ‘duress’ and ‘necessity’, although there is no reported evidence of a defence in the above cases.