Townsville Bulletin

Prisoners escaped for cigarette


PRISONERS who escaped Townsville prison to have a cigarette were caught on CCTV sneaking back into the facility after their fleeting moments of freedom.

Dylan Nigel Toby faced Townsville Magistrate­s Court from custody on Tuesday where he pleaded guilty to a single charge of escaping lawful custody.

Prosecutor Jordan Theed said Toby was a prisoner serving a sentence at Townsville Correction­al Centre when he and another prisoner “walked off” the low-security farm late on March 12 or early on March 13, 2021.

“They were observed by correction­al officers outside the boundaries on CCTV footage and they were attempting to sneak back onto the farm prior to headcount,” he said.

“The defendant said … he had gone all the way out to the bus stop on the Bruce Highway prior to returning to the farm.

“He declined to be interviewe­d but said he had had some smokes.”

Staff were unsure how long the pair were gone, but Mr Theed said it was somewhere between 10 and 120 minutes.

“In a way he was trying to return and it wasn’t as if he was attempting to run,” he said.

Defence lawyer Troydon Maltby described Toby’s eightpage criminal history as “concerning” but noted it did not contain other similar offending.

“He does not come before the court with clean hands, he does not come before the court in a good situation but he has been in custody now approachin­g … about 10 months,” he said.

In sentencing, magistrate Kenneth Taylor said he took into account the early plea of guilty, parole delays and Toby’s criminal history.

Toby was sentenced to three months’ custody with immediate parole eligibilit­y.

His sentence will begin only after he serves out his current sentence.

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