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Recaptured prisoners tell court they escaped from a pasture, not prison

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The seven Lusignan escapees who were recaptured told the court today that they did not escape from a prison but rather a pasture.

The escapees appeared before Magistrate Peter Hugh at the Cove and John Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon.

The Magistrate told the accused that sometime between July 23 and 24 they escaped from lawful custody while in the Lusignan Prison.

Three of the men: Winston Long, Jamal Forde and Jamal Joseph pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in prison. The magistrate told them that he was pleased that they did not waste the court’s time and as such they were not given the maximum sentence of three years – which the offence attracted.

The other prisoners: Teshawn McKenzie, Royan Jones, Jason Howard, and Odel Roberts all pleaded not guilty and their cases will be heard again in August. They will appear at the Vigilance Magistrates Court.

The men however told the court that they were frustrated given that they were being forced to sleep in rain and sun and when they decided to rest either on pallets or tarpaulin, they would have to jump up as snakes would be crawling alongside them.

They even told the court that in some instances they had to stand and sleep to avoid putting their warm bodies on the cold dirt.

At the Cove and John Police Compound, the security was heightened with policemen standing at every conceivable vantage point, covering the entire perimeter of the compound.

The gates to the station were locked and the men were kept in a prison van and made their way into the court room one at a time as their names were called.

After all the men appeared, they were then bundled back into the vehicle and escorted with heavy security to the Camp Street Jail where they are expected to be secured in the brick building. (Leroy Smith)

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