AN INMATE who escaped from a local correctional centre has been captured and will now spend extra time in jail.
A tip-off to Crime Stoppers led Bathurst police to 21-year-old Ashley Cullen yesterday afternoon in the state’s Central West, about seven hours’ drive south from where he fled a jail in Glen Innes.
When Cullen saw police he attempted to run but was eventually arrested after a short foot pursuit in Queen St, Blayney.
He was taken to Bathurst Police Station and charged with escape lawful custody and resist police.
Cullen fronted Bathurst Local Court in the dock yesterday to answer the charges, pleading guilty to both offences.
Magistrate Michael Allen sentenced Cullen to eight months in prison for his escape while he was convicted, without further penalty, for resisting police.
The arrest brings to an end a four-month hunt for Cullen, after he and two other inmates escaped from the Glen Innes Correctional Centre on April 14.
New England Detective Sergeant Matt Crotty told The Leader Cullen’s arrest was a significant result for police and the public, after several previous unconfirmed sightings.
“The community can feel safe again because Mr Cullen is back behind bars where he belongs,” Detective Sergeant Crotty said.
“It was a good result and police want to thank the community for their help in the search.”
Detective Sergeant Crotty said the arrest followed a mammoth search.
“New England detectives, along with police, have been working with police from other commands to search for Mr Cullen,” he said.
“We’ve also worked extensively with our interstate colleagues to trace his movements.
“We rely on assistance from the public and only through their co-operation can we achieve some of the results we have.”
Cullen, along with 25-year-old Zac Cree and Reegan Freeburn, 24, were locked in their prison units in the minimum security centre at 6.30 at night.
They were discovered missing the next day at 7am by prison officers.
Local police, along with New England detectives, launched a manhunt for the three men following the jail break, pouring resources into the region, with officers scouring the areas surrounding the prison grounds.
Freeburn was arrested at a house in South Grafton on April 19 and was sentenced to a further six months’ jail.
Cree was arrested by Queensland police after they allegedly found him hiding in the roof of a Pacific Pines home on May 17.
Since Cree’s arrest, he has been charged with seven extra offences including burglary, receiving tainted property, possession of tainted property, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and driving while disqualified.
Queensland police allege Cree was involved in a break-and-enter of a Helensvale home the night prior to his arrest.
He’ll front a Queensland court to answer the charges next week.