A murderer has been able to escape under a fence in a low security section of a Queensland prison because he wasn’t considered a flight risk.
A murderer has been able to escape from a central Queensland prison because he was deemed to be a low security threat.
He is among four wanted men on the run across the state.
Tony Dwaine Morgan, 33, who was serving a life sentence for a 1999 murder in Bundaberg, escaped from a low-security farm at Capricornia Correctional Centre, north of Rockhampton, on Sunday night.
Authorities say he and fellow escapee, Bradley Thomas Kuhl, 34, were able to get away by rolling up a fence and sliding under.
Kuhl was serving a six-year sentence for a 2011 armed robbery in Yeppoon.
A Department of Corrective Services spokesman said the prisoners, like others given low security classifications, underwent a “detailed assessment”.
“Factors taken into account for low security classification include whether the offender has been compliant with their prison conduct, progressed through intervention programs, the passage of time, and their willingness to work,” the spokesman said in a statement.
“Assessments are based on the individual circumstances of each prisoner and suitability for assessment does not necessarily mean a prisoner will be found suitable for placement in a low security facility.”
The spokesman said Kuhl and Morgan were the first prisoners to escape from a low security area in 18 months, which he touted as the longest escape-free period in the last decade.
But the escape did not seem difficult.
“Early inquiries have identified that they may have rolled up or interfered in some way with the fence at the prison and made their escape,” Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon told reporters in Rockhampton on Monday.
Mr Condon said detectives were speaking with the prisoners’ families, adding any associates harbouring a fugitive faced a maximum two-year jail term.
A man hunt is also underway for elderly drug cultivator Howard Lindsay who was reported missing from a work camp at Blackall, in central western Queensland, on Monday morning.
Authorities are also chasing sex offender Stewart James Dawson, who disobeyed a home detention order in inner Brisbane.
The escaped prisoners face a maximum seven-year jail term on top of their sentences.
A department spokesman said the escapees would be sent to a high-security facility upon their return to prison.
The public is being urged not to approach the men.