The West

Prison escape put down to door defect
Prison escape put down to door defect

A prisoner who launched an escape "Houdini would have been proud of" exploited a design flaw in a door meant to keep him imprisoned, according to Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis.

Brett Shannon Klimczak appeared in Midland Magistrate's Court yesterday over his short-lived bid for freedom from Acacia Prison early on Monday.

Klimczak was recaptured a few hours later at 9.30am after becoming bogged in a muddy Jane Brook paddock while he was chased by police.

Offering a wry smile to waiting media, Klimczak represented himself in court and asked for the matter to be remanded so he could get legal advice.

The 31-year-old faces several charges including escaping lawful custody, stealing a motor vehicle, inherently dangerous reckless driving, failing to stop and having no authority to drive.

An investigation is continuing into how Klimczak escaped the medium-security prison.

However, Mr Francis revealed a design flaw in a door at the self-care units where Klimczak was housed was a factor.

Mr Francis told 6PR the flaw had not been picked up in the 14 years the jail had been open. "No one managed to see a flaw that this guy managed to see," he said.

The doors in question are being modified to ensure no other prisoners exploit them.

Mr Francis said "all the planets aligned" for Klimczak in his jail breakout.

"He's a criminal and I'm not going to build him up in any way, but clearly he thought through some problem solving in order to overcome these obstacles," he said.

"And I shouldn't really say it, but it was an impressive escape that Houdini would have been proud of."

WA Prison Officers Union secretary John Welch said he was concerned the suspension of two staff linked to the incident was more to do with "news management" than a precautionary measure.

Mr Welch said at this stage the suspended officers and the union rejected any allegation that they had done anything wrong in relation to Klimczak's escape.

'No one managed to see a flaw that this guy managed to see.' "Corrective Services Minister

  • Joe Francis *
The West Australian

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