How did prison staff at a maximum-security NSW jail let a convicted armed robber escape by allegedly using bedsheets and a pillow?
That is the question being asked by authorities after convicted armed robber Stephen Jamieson – who was serving a 12-year jail sentence – allegedly scaled a prison wall topped with razor wire at around midday on Tuesday.
The prison break prompted a massive man-hunt, involving helicopters and dogs, before he was caught at Pheasant’s Nest almost 12 hours later.
Police said they had to use road spikes to pull over Jamieson, who was driving an allegedly stolen ute about 140km from the jail.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said the escape was unacceptable.
“When I saw that, I was gobsmacked,” he told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.
“We need to do everything possible to ensure that doesn’t happen again.”
An expert from New Zealand’s Department of Corrections has been brought in to review security at the jail in southern NSW.
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin praised the NSW police for efforts in recapturing Jamieson, but said the escape should not have happened.
NSW Police Superintendent Zoran Dzevlan also praised police and the local community after Jamieson’s recapture.
“I don’t want to focus on what happened at the jail,” Superintendent Dzevlan told the Nine Network.
“What I want to do is focus on is the great work of the police.”
Jamieson, who has been charged with seven offences, didn’t apply for bail at Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday.
His matter will return to court on October 14.
Jamieson, 28, is serving time for a range of serious offences, and had been incarcerated in 2013.