Tuesday 24 October 2017

Man fled from court through toilet window


A MAN who escaped from custody by climbing out a toilet window at Wexford Circuit Court last week was brought back to court yesterday (Tuesday) after being arrested some fourteen hours after doing a runner.

Graham Hurley ( 25), with an address at Monck Street, was arrested along with two other people at 2.30 a.m. last Thursday, after making his dash for freedom around lunchtime on Wednesday.

He had been due to stand trial on theft charges. He pleaded guilty to those charges when back in court yesterday, and was remanded in custody to November. A WEXFORD man who escaped from prison officers by climbing out a toilet window at Wexford Circuit Court last Wednesday was arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning in Drinagh.

Graham Hurley (25), with an address at Monck Street in Wexford town, was arrested along with two other Wexford residents at 2.30 a.m., some 14 hours after he made his break from the cubicle at County Hall, which houses the circuit court.

Hurley had been due to stand trial on a charge of robbing a mobile phone and €120 from Aisling Murphy at Clonard Great, Wexford, on August 12, 2009. He was brought to Wexford Circuit Court from Portlaoise Prison, where is serving a sentence, by prison officers.

The prison officers were bringing Hurley to the courtroom when he requested to use the bathroom at around midday. It's understood that his handcuffs were removed to allow him use the ground floor toilet, but after entering the cubicle he managed to escape through a window.

Hurley then raced through the car park in County Hall and out onto the road outside the building. The prison officers and gardaí gave chase, but they were unable to catch the Wexford man.

Prosecuting counsel Philip Sheehan told Judge Alice Doyle that here had been ' developments' in the matter when Hurley was not brought before her, and he asked for a bench warrant, which defence counsel James Peart did not object to. Judge Doyle issued the warrant.

Meanwhile, gardaí in Wexford were busy searching for Hurley, keeping a close eye on his regular haunts in and around the town, as well as an area in south Wexford. A Garda spokesman said that Hurley's re-arrest was their ' top priority' for the day.

He was eventually arrested at 2.30 a.m. on Thursday morning in the Drinagh area after Gardaí received a report of suspicious activity in the area. Hurley was arrested with two other local people – a man and a woman, both well-known to gardaí in Wexford.

Shortly before their arrest the Topaz garage in Drinagh had been broken into and €40 taken from the collection boxes. Hurley and the two others were arrested in the vicinity and were questioned in relation to that offence.

Hurley and the Wexford female were also questioned in relation to an incident after his escape on Wednesday, when a motorist picked up a man and a woman thumbing a lift at Rocklands.

He brought them about a mile out the Rosslare Road, but noticed after he dropped them off that his wallet had been taken from his car.

The woman arrested with Hurley was released without charge from Wexford Garda Station on Thursday night, as was the second man arrested. A file is expected to go to the DPP in both cases.

A file is also being prepared for the DPP in relation to Hurley in respect of incidents last week. He was sent back to Portlaoise Prison from Wexford Garda Station on Friday before being brought back to the Circuit Court yesterday (Tuesday). He pleaded guilty there to the two charges currently before the court, of stealing a mobile phone and €120.

Judge Alice Doyle ordered a Probation Officer's report and remanded Hurley in custody for sentencing next November.

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