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Prisoner uses lollies in escape

PRISONER Lew Ross used a smuggled mobile phone and lollies to plan his escape from custody in Toowoomba at the weekend.

Ross, 34, appeared in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court today and pleaded guilty to escaping lawful custody, obstructing police, and dealing with a prohibited thing.

Prosecutor senior constable Mark McKenzie said Ross, who suffers from diabetes, consumed a large amount of lollies at the Darling Downs Correctional Centre at Westbrook on Friday evening.

He then complained about his medical problems and was taken to the Toowoomba Hospital at 10.45pm.

Ross was moved to a private room at 5.15am on Saturday where he remained handcuffed and leg iron chained to a hospital bed until he asked to go to the toilet at 6.05am.

Armed guards removed his leg shackles and Ross was escorted to the toilets while he was also wheeling an attached IV drip on a pole.

The two guards waited outside the toilet.

Ross then burst back out of the toilet, ripped out his IV drip and threw the pole at the two guards.

He escaped the hospital and a huge man-hunt was launched.

Ross was chased and caught in Isabel Street at 8.30am.

Police seized a mobile phone which he had been illegally using in prison.

He had sent text messages from the phone while in prison on Friday, stating: “Call me now it’s urgent…I’m thinking ’bout pulling a sickie runner from the hospital.”

Ross had also used the phone to call his brother after escaping from the hospital.

He is currently serving a nine year prison sentence for burglaries and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm.

Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck sentenced Ross to six months imprisonment.

He will not be eligible for parole until February 15 next year.


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