Nike in court after custody escape

THE Nike sports slogan ‘just do it’ was an apt motivator for Nike Buchanan, who did a runner from a Ballina police cell last November.

The law did not catch up with him again until late January.

By that time the Ballina man had ‘sprinted’ his way down the track to Port Kembla.

Buchanan, 22, was back in the Lismore Local Court this week charged with escaping police custody at Ballina on November 8 last year.

Buchanan pleaded guilty to escaping from the police station.

Police facts stated Buchanan was charged that day with a number of break-in offences and his bail had been refused.

He was lodged in a cell at Ballina police station.

But police officers became distracted when they had to deal with a violent prisoner.

Seizing the moment, Buchanan ‘manipulated’ the cell door, opening it before walking free from the cell complex.

He walked into a rear yard of the police station where he made his escape.

Buchanan was not noticed missing until 7.10pm.

A review of the police station’s CCTV tapes showed Buchanan escaping at 6.20pm.

Described in police documents as a ‘recidivist high risk prisoner’, Buchanan was arrested by Lake Illawarra police on January 21 at the home of relatives.

Police saw him at 7.30am running past the laundry before officers entered the Lake Heights house to arrest him. He was taken to the Port Kembla police station.

Buchanan is pleading not guilty to two charges of breaking into Hotel Henry Rous at Ballina on the nights of October 13 and October 29 last year.

The case was adjourned to March 23.

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