The West

Breakout officers stood down
Acacia prison escapee Brett Shannon Klimczak, centre, is escorted by police from Royal Perth Hospital after being recaptured yesterday. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian.

Two prison officers have been suspended after an inmate broke out of his locked unit and scaled four barbed and razor-wire fences to escape from Acacia Prison yesterday.

WA's biggest jail remains in lockdown today and is being constantly patrolled by armed guards after Brett Shannon Klimczak's audacious breakout.

It was not the first time Klimczak had escaped.

In 2010 he broke out of Wooroloo Prison Farm and went on a 2500km crime spree while on the run for three weeks.

Acacia Prison, a medium- security jail that holds about 1000 men, is run by private contractor Serco, which faces a $100,000 fine for the escape under its contract with the WA Government. A Serco spokesman said last night the two officers were suspended from duties pending the outcome of an investigation.

Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said Klimczak, 31, had been "absolutely determined" to escape custody.

"He managed to get out of a secure door," he said.

"He managed to get through four different barbed and razor-wire fences. (He was) absolutely determined and in doing so sustained a number of injuries to himself.

"I don't think it was spontaneous. I don't think at this stage there were too many other people involved."

Klimczak was initially jailed for seven years for burglaries, car theft and other offences. He was given a further 14 months after his escape from Wooroloo and was relocated to Acacia.

He is believed to have escaped about 3.30am yesterday and walked 15km to steal a Toyota LandCruiser from a property on Great Southern Highway in Woottating.

Police recaptured Klimczak after a short pursuit about 9.30am when the vehicle became bogged in Jane Brook. He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital for treatment for his injuries.

Klimczak has been charged with escaping from lawful custody, stealing a motor vehicle and driving recklessly, reckless driving - inherently dangerous, failing to stop when called on to do so (circumstance of aggravation) and having no authority to drive.
He is due to appear in Midland Magistrate’s Court today.

Corrective Services Commissioner James McMahon said he spent yesterday at Acacia Prison to ensure security was "as good it can be".

"I've directed 24/7 patrolling of the perimeter - both routine and non-routine - will occur," he said. "I've also issued a directive that the emergency response group will carry out patrols of the prison. They're armed and I've also deployed a number of specialists to lend support both in an operational sense and in an intelligence sense."

Mr McMahon said he expected the investigation into how the escape happened would take at least two weeks.

Shadow minister for corrective services Paul Papalia said he raised fears about security in Acacia last year when tools capable of being used in an escape were stolen and never recovered.

The West Australian

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