Escaped prisoner, Hayden Phillip who was on the run for 10 days is now back in protective custody after he was captured on Saturday afternoon in an operation which left him suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.
The prisoner managed to evade prison and police officers who launched a manhunt for him by disguising himself with women clothing, wigs, and school uniforms and moving in and out of different villages on the island.
His run to freedom ended at around 4.15 p.m on Saturday when a tip-off was given to prison officers which led them to Old Fort in St. George’s.
Phillip received a single gunshot wound from an officer attached to Her Majesty’s Prison that rendered him immovable and unable to run away.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the escaped prisoner received a single gunshot wound to one of his leg but the bullet went straight through and penetrated the other leg.
Phillip was transported to the St. George’s General Hospital and was immediately taken into surgery.
Before fleeing the prison, the escapee who was originally from Cemetery Hill, St. George’s but resided at Grand Anse was one month into a two year sentence for the offence of Contempt of Court.
Phillip is likely to be slapped with a charge of escaping lawful custody, which carries a maximum penalty of two years.
Officer in Charge of the Community Relations Department (CRD) of the Royal Grenada Police Force, Inspector Desmond Richard, who spoke to this newspaper on Monday said that this is the longest period in recent times it has taken law officials to re-capture an escaped prisoner.
“Generally, officers would take three to four days to re-capture a prisoner”, he remarked.
There was grave concern among women as reports circulated in the country that the escaped prisoner is an alleged rapist.
According to Insp Richard, investigations around the escape of Phillip will continue to ensure that something like this does not repeat itself.
He said: “Investigation will be continued as to whether or not he (Phillip) committed any offences while on the run and also to strengthen protocol as well – both the police and the prison will be doing the same thing – how it happened, where it stemmed from”.
Speculation is rife that Phillip escaped custody by jumping the wall of the prison.
During a press briefing at Police Headquarters at Fort George, St. George’s, last Friday, Assistant Superintendant of Prisons, Phinbar Charles said Phillip was not one of the inmates who was ever suspected of engaging in misbehaviour and during the one month spent at the prison before his escape, he was involved in the Project Reach Programme.
Charles said, “He was involved in a programme that we would have been running for over a number of years which is the Project Reach and Project Reach – over the years (the project) has a success rate of about 90% and so he was involved in that programme. He was the first to escape for all the years of the programme. So to say he was that sort of inmate, I would say no, because if he was that, he would not have been involved in the programme because the programme goes beyond the walls of the prison – it is on the compound but it is beyond the walls”.
Insp Richard, who was also at the press conference said that Phillip’s demeanour as described by the Prison would indicate that he could have been planning his escape all along.
The officer said: “He (Phillip) was wise enough to behave in a manner that would not make him suspicious but just checking the scenes and watching things and waiting for the right time. When you have prisoners like those, it means, (1) it’s difficult to really profile and secondly, those behaviour, you would tell yourself that maybe this guy is changing but all the while understood the system. He is intelligent, he may not have a Doctorate or a Master’s in a particular subject but let me tell you something, those persons are very intelligent in what they do and they understand the system…they learn it and they would take the advantage when its necessary. It only allows us to be more alert. Of course once he gets in the prison, he would not have that opportunity to do that again.”
One of the tactics used by Her Majesty’s Prison in the recapturing of Phillip, was a $5000.00 reward for any information leading to his capture.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the person who gave the tip-off is refusing to accept the money on the grounds that it was a civic duty being performed.