Three crims still on the run after escaping a NSW jail

UNITED by their troubled backgrounds and a desire to be free, three convicted North Coast criminals remain on the run from the law almost a week after they broke out of a NSW jail.

Toormina's Ashley Cullen, Zac Cree, from Banora Point and Grafton's Reegan Freeburn were last seen when they were secured in the unit they shared at the Glen Innes minimum security facility about 6.30pm last Thursday.

The alarm was not raised until after 7am the following day.Though they are only in their early 20s, all three inmates have disturbing criminal pasts.

Cullen, 21, is serving a four-year, nine month sentence for his part in a terrifying South Grafton home invasion where a woman was raped and a man tied up.

Wearing helmets and armed with a knife, baseball bat and gun, Cullen and his two friends Andrew Stewart and Travis Braam, ripped off a screen door and stormed into a Bent St home.

Inside, a 51-year-old man's arms were bound and his finger dislocated while his female friend was told the man's safety could be guaranteed in exchange for sexual favours.

The woman performed oral sex on Stewart and was raped by Braam before all three fled with cash and a crossbow.

(From left) Prison escapees Reegan Freeburn, 24 from Grafton, Ashley Cullen , 21, from Toormina and Zac Cree, 25, from Banora Point have not been seen since they were secured in their unit at the Glenn Innes jail Thursday night.
(From left) Prison escapees Reegan Freeburn, 24 from Grafton, Ashley Cullen , 21, from Toormina and Zac Cree, 25, from Banora Point have not been seen since they were secured in their unit at the Glenn Innes jail Thursday night.

Freeburn, a convicted woman basher, is serving a three-year maximum sentence for assault, stalking, intimidation and reckless wounding.

On one occasion in April last year, he attacked his heavily pregnant girlfriend at a South Grafton car wash.

Police were told Freeburn ran his bicycle wheel into his girlfriend's back, causing her to fall forward.

He then kicked her to the side of the head until two men came to her aid.

Freeburn would have been eligible for parole in October this year.

Cree is serving a maximum sentence of three years and nine months with a non-parole period of two years and 10 months for driving and break and enter offences.

The trio had almost 13 hours to get away before they were discovered missing.

Both Cullen and Cree have strong links to Queensland but Cree is wanted by police north of the border for several stealing offences.

Cullen has a history of being on the run from police.A warrant was issued for his arrest and his details released to the media when he failed to turn up to court for sentencing last year.

A NSW Police spokeswoman would not comment yesterday on the state of the police investigation into the missing prisoner's whereabouts.

Asked whether officers had spoken to the inmates' families or if they believed the trio was still in NSW, the spokeswoman said details could not be released to the public on the basis they could hinder the police investigation.

Anyone who sees a prison escapee should call 000.



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