30 November 2022

Inmate freed in dramatic jail break by ex-fiancée sentenced over escape, drugs down pants

| Albert McKnight
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Lila Walto and her former fiancé Kane Quinn have both now been sentenced. Photos: Facebook.

During the period when a prison inmate escaped into “short-lived freedom for some hours”, he failed to realise his “spontaneous decision to get into the car was a poor one”, a magistrate said when sentencing him.

Kane Quinn’s ex-partner Lila Rose Mary Walto broke him out of custody by using a stolen Jeep to ram a Corrective Services car multiple times in the middle of Canberra when he was being transported to hospital on 9 July 2021.

Footage showed Walto smashing the Jeep into the smaller Corrective Services car before Quinn got out, ran away, turned around, dodged an officer and jumped into the Jeep when Walto screamed at him.

The court heard he spent about 12 hours at large before he was found in Lyneham.

Walto was jailed for more than six years over her role in the breakout. Thirty-year-old Quinn appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court today (30 November) to be sentenced over the escape, as well as an incident which saw a bag of drugs shoved down his pants during a prison visit.

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In this case, Quinn was back in the Alexander Maconochie Centre on 9 April 2022 when he was visited by a person, who court documents call a “known female acquaintance”. This woman was spotted taking a package and placing her hands down the front of his pants.

Afterwards, he was handcuffed, isolated and strip searched, during which “a large package” was found down the front of his pants, the documents said.

The items in the package were analysed and found to be 56 buprenorphine strips, six grams of cannabis, 0.38 grams of cocaine, 0.15 grams of heroin and 0.3 grams of methylamphetamine.

Magistrate Louise Taylor found Quinn’s prison break arose when Walto provided the opportunity for it to occur.

She said he was not involved in the planning for it and had in fact at first thought he was under attack, as he had been making comments like “they’re trying to kill me” and “don’t give me the f-k over”.

When it came to the drugs in prison matter, Magistrate Taylor said it had been “clumsy and almost immediately detected”.

She said a psychiatric report stated Quinn had a very troubled upbringing and suffered a serious history of disadvantage. He began using the drug ice at age 20 and started taking buprenorphine while in custody.

Magistrate Taylor found his deprived background provided some explanation as to why he took advantage of the opportunity Walto gave him.

Quinn, who is also known as Kane McDowall, has been in custody since 2015, serving a 14-year sentence for violent offending that ends in 2029 although he can apply for parole in December 2024 after he has served nine years.

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He pleaded guilty to escaping custody over the prison break. He also pleaded guilty to charges including possessing heroin, cocaine and methylamphetamine over the drugs matter.

Magistrate Taylor convicted and sentenced him to 16 months’ jail, expiring in May 2024, on the escaping custody charge. He was convicted on the other charges and fined $3500 with no time to pay, which means the fines will be served as days in prison.

The court has previously heard that while Walto had tried to marry Quinn several times when they were both in custody, their relationship was now over.

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