2 September 2022

Inmate wasn't allowed back into prison after returning two hours late from day bail

| Albert McKnight
Alexander Maconochie Centre

A 42-year-old inmate wasn’t allowed to return to the Alexander Maconochie Centre. Photo: Region.

A jail inmate wasn’t allowed back into prison because he returned two hours late after being released on day bail.

While Canberra’s courts have heard he is now allegedly on the run, the ACT Government has said the incident occurred because he allegedly breached his bail and it did not have the power to take him back into custody because of the breach.

Guy Pearson Roberts was supposed to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (31 August) to face charges that included assault, using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend, as well as attempting to escape from custody.

But prosecutor Lauren Knobel said the 42-year-old was allegedly “unlawfully at large”.

She said he had been released on day bail on 26 August 2022 to return to the Alexander Maconochie Centre at 7 pm, but arrived two hours late.

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Staff reportedly told him that according to the relevant legislation they could not accept him and he was turned away.

Ms Knobel said Roberts hadn’t handed himself in to police so she sought a warrant for his arrest, which was granted by Magistrate James Lawton.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Justice and Community Safety Directorate said Roberts was granted day bail by the ACT Supreme Court to attend a funeral on 26 August.

He then allegedly breached his bail conditions by not returning to the AMC at the notified return time.

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“Due to the breach in bail, ACT Corrective Services (ACTCS) notified ACT Policing,” the spokesperson alleged.

“The remandee did return to the front gates of the AMC later that night; however, left only minutes later before any action could be taken by ACTCS.

“This occurrence was also notified to ACT Policing.”

The spokesperson said once a person has breached a condition of their bail ACTCS has no power to take them into custody.

Attorney General Shane Rattenbury said he was unable to comment on the incident at this time.

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