The Sydney Morning Herald

Jailbreak success ... for a while at least

Author: Malcolm Brown
Date: 10/12/2011
Words: 282
Source: SMH
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News Review
Page: 4
Life on the run has never been easy, from the time the bushrangers took to the hills and managed, like Malcolm Naden, to slip into and out of the settled community.

The average life of a bushranger was about three years. Fred Ward, aka Captain Thunderbolt, got to seven.

Modern transport and communications cruelled their efforts but there have been occasional modestly successful hold outs.

In 1949, Darcy Dugan and William Mears escaped during a term at Long Bay and spent 62 days on the run. They sowed the seeds of their demise with a rampage of violent crime.

Ten years later, Kevin Simmonds and Leslie Newcombe broke out of Long Bay, killed a warder at Emu Plains and took his rifle, then went on the run. Newcombe was captured two weeks later but Simmonds stayed free, even digging a hole in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, to bury a caravan he planned to steal. He was captured in the Hunter region.

Armed robber Russell "Mad Dog" Cox, shot during a failed attempt to break out of Long Bay in 1975, fled Katingal two years later and, thanks to underground support, went to England and worked as a seaman, before returning to Australia. In 1980, Raymond John Denning became the first prisoner to break out of Grafton jail and spent 19 months on the run before being captured in Victoria with Cox.

In two separate breakouts, Brenden Abbott was six years on the run, robbing banks and sending snapshots of himself to police.

In 1999, a former judge's associate, Lucy Dudko, hijacked a helicopter and sprang her lover, John Killick, from a prison yard at Silverwater. They were caught at a Bass Hill caravan park after 45 days

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