Search continues for prison escapees

UPDATE: 2pm Saturday April 6, 2013.

THE SEARCH for three prison escapees continues, a NSW Police spokesperson said.

Police are appealing for any information on the three escapees' whereabouts, however the public is warned not to approach the men if they are sighted.

(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.

Original report by Jessica Grewal:

THREE prisoners are on the run after escaping from a Northern NSW jail on Thursday.

Zac Cree, 25, from Banora Point, Ashley Cullen, 21, from Toormina, and Reegan Freeburn, 24, from Grafton have not been seen since they were secured in their unit at the Glen Innes jail about 6.30pm Thursday.

Cree is serving three years and nine months for a series of traffic and break-in offences; Cullen four years and nine months for break and enter, fraud and kidnapping; and Freeburn three years for stalking, intimidation and reckless wounding.

Police have released images of the trio in the hope someone will recognise them.

It's the second time this week security has been breached at a NSW jail.

A prison escapee serving time for a series of Mid North Coast robberies fled the Goulburn jail on Tuesday and has not been seen since.

 

Christopher Gibbs, 30, held up the  ANZ Bank in Coffs Harbour and the BCU branches at Urunga and Nambucca before committing further offences in the Port Macquarie area in November, 2011.

He was eventually arrested at Nelson Bay and sentenced to seven years jail.

A Corrective Services NSW spokesperson said Gibbs had recently progressed from "medium to the highest level of minimum security" after being in custody for 16 months.

She said he had three years and six months remaining until he was eligible for parole and had been "assessed as suitable for progression to the highest level of minimum security after he demonstrated consistent good behaviour and sustained stability in programs to address his offending behaviour".

Gibbs was the second prisoner with links to North Coast crime to escape from a minimum security jail this year.

In February, convicted killer Adam Bowhay was serving 23 years for the murder of Casino man Steve Jarvis when he fled a work release program at Cooma.

He was recaptured near Bredbo.

The CSNSW spokesperson said the department took "very seriously" its legislated responsibility of community safety and re-integrating inmates back into the community.

She said a "wide variety of factors" including criminal history, were considered when assigning security classification and placement of inmates.

She also stressed that improvements in the classification and management of offenders by CANS had "contributed to significantly reducing the number of escapes from custody in recent years".

Anyone who recognises a prison escapee should call 000.



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