Prison security contractor Serco faces another embarrassing investigation after a convicted armed robber escaped from two guards during a routine hospital visit yesterday.
Darren John Goldsworthy, 22, was handcuffed but still managed to outrun Serco staff who had taken him to a radiology appointment at Royal Perth Hospital's Shenton Park annexe about 1pm.
Goldsworthy was arrested about an hour later after police spotted him outside nearby Irwin Barracks, hiding near a disused accommodation unit.
After being seen by police, Goldsworthy jumped a fence into the barracks.
The Department of Corrective Services refused to provide details about the escape, saying it was the subject of a continuing investigation.
Witnesses have told _The West Australian _they saw a barefoot Goldsworthy - dressed in prison greens - bolt from the hospital's main entrance with the two Serco guards trailing well behind.
One guard was allegedly overheard saying his job was on the line because it was the second time he had lost a prisoner.
During hospital visits it is standard procedure for a prisoner to be restrained with two sets of cuffs - one securing their wrists and another securing them to a guard.
The rules were introduced after an escape from Joondalup hospital in December.
When Goldsworthy was arrested yesterday, he had handcuffs around his wrists but it was not clear why the second set of cuffs had been removed.
Serco was fined $242,000 this year after a dangerous rapist and another prisoner escaped during a prisoner transfer near Geraldton. The company also agreed to pay more than $180,000 to reimburse police for the cost of their recapture.
Goldsworthy was jailed for 4½ years in July 2012 for two counts of armed robbery where he threatened staff at a supermarket and a liquor store with a machete.
He was also convicted of stealing seven motorcycles and a truck during a burglary.
At the time he claimed he was addicted to amphetamines, which he said had "f….. up his life".
A spokesman for Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said he was waiting for a full briefing from his department and it would be inappropriate to comment before all facts were known.
Goldsworthy is expected to be charged with escaping legal custody and is due to face court today.
Witnesses said they saw a barefoot Goldsworthy bolt with two Serco guards well behind."