Casuarina Prison inmate charged over alleged escape attempt

A prisoner and an associate with alleged links to outlaw motorcycle gangs and far right-wing extremist groups have been charged over a conspiracy to free a murderer from custody.

Western Australian detectives allege from October 2020 onwards, the 24-year-old Casuarina Prison inmate communicated with an associate on the outside via coded messages to “develop and execute an escape plan” to free the prisoner, who is serving a sentence for murder.

Given the nature of the two men’s alleged associates, police say there was a “real risk” the plan could have been successful.

Detectives said the plan also involved the intention to source firearms and bring in others to help facilitate the escape.

On Thursday, detectives from the State Security Investigation Group carried out search warrants at the prisoner’s cell, as well as at his 24-year-old associate’s address in Huntingdale.

The two men have been charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence (forcibly frees, or attempts to free, from lawful custody, any person serving a sentence for murder).

Detective Senior Sergeant Sean Bell said the investigation moved “quickly” to disrupt the plan.

“Given the network of associates the two accused men have, which includes outlaw motorcycle gangs and members of right-wing extremist groups, there was a real risk there would be an attempt to execute the escape plan,” Sergeant Bell said.

“As a result of our investigation … no actual risk to the community eventuated.”

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