25 July 2022

Prison escapee who was broken out of jail by his fiancée Lila Walto pleads guilty

| Albert McKnight
Man in a hoodie

Kane Quinn, also known as Kane McDowall, pleaded guilty to escaping custody. Photo: Facebook.

The man whose fiancée broke him out of jail last year in an attempt to run away and start a new life together has admitted he escaped from custody.

Kane Quinn, who is also known as Kane McDowall, was the target of the dramatic prison break conducted by Lila Rose Mary Walto last year.

He originally planned to fight his charge but appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court over audio-visual link on Wednesday (20 July) and pleaded guilty to a count of escaping from lawful custody.

While an agreed statement of facts was tendered to the court, it was not immediately available so it is unclear what specific facts he admitted to.

But according to court documents for Walto, she and another woman had gone to a Fyshwick car dealership on the morning of 9 July 2021, where she told a salesman she had a $100,000 loan to buy a Jeep Wrangler.

After they pulled over on the Majura Parkway during a test drive, she drove off without the salesman while he was on his phone.

Meanwhile, then-28-year-old Quinn was in custody at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, where he’d been telling staff that he’d swallowed a battery.

Three staff members left for the Canberra Hospital with him at 3:30 pm, but as they drove down Hindmarsh Drive their Toyota Camry was hit from behind by the Jeep numerous times.

They tried to escape by driving onto Canberra Avenue in Griffith, but the Jeep continued to crash into their car.

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In Oxley Street, Kingston, the staff and Quinn got out, but he tried to run away, yelling, “she’s trying to kill me”.

The Jeep’s driver called his name and told him to get into the car.

Police went to a home in Lyneham at 8 pm that evening which Walto left after short negotiations. They said Quinn left the house after “prolonged negotiations”.

Woman sitting front of poker machines

Lila Rose Mary Walto was charged over a prison break in July 2021. Photo: Facebook.

Walto, 29, has already pleaded guilty over her role. She is in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced in the Supreme Court on Thursday (21 July).

The court documents for her case say that when police interviewed her, she told them it was “not Kane’s fault”.

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She said she was planning on running away with him and her children to start a new life together, and she also got to hug and kiss him.

In a call in August 2021, she spoke about the incident and said: “I don’t remember much. I was really f***ing drunk”.

On Wednesday, Magistrate James Lawton vacated the hearing that had been set to contest Quinn’s charge and remanded him in custody for sentencing on 14 September.

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