Police recapture escaped fugitive

Morley Tavern. Picture: Kristie Lim
Morley Tavern. Picture: Kristie Lim

POLICE have recaptured Laurie John Junior Dodd after he escaped custody on Saturday.

Mr Dodd, who has a history of escaping custody, fled from Royal Perth Hospital about 12.40pm on Saturday.

Police caught the 44-year-old near the Galleria Shopping Centre and a tavern in Morley on Wednesday following a chase.

Sergeant Mat Atkinson. Picture: Nadia Budihardjo

Sergeant Mat Atkinson said Mr Dodd and a woman were sighted together in a vehicle just after 10.30am.

“Once the resources got into the area, he became aware of our presence,” he said.

“He tried to evade us in a vehicle, he was unsuccessful in doing so and tried to run away … and he was apprehended by police after a short chase.”

Sergeant Atkinson confirmed Mr Dodd was tasered during the recapture.

“I can tell you now, he’s actually at Hakea prison,” he said.

He has been charged with two counts of stealing motor vehicle, reckless driving to escape pursuit by police, being the driver of a vehicle failing to comply with a direction to stop, escaping from lawful custody, two counts of assaulting public officers, two counts of stealing and breaching his bail.

Police have also charged a 44-year-old woman with aiding an escapee and two counts of stealing motor vehicle.

Both will appear at the Perth Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Police also said they were continuing their investigation into the escape, as they believe Mr Dodd had received help from the public.

A Galleria spokesperson said they were “assisting police with their investigations into an incident that occurred in the carpark earlier this morning”.

Witness Stuart Shenton said he knew Mr Dodd personally and was having a drink when the chase broke out nearby.

“I was watching the whole thing in horror,” he said.

“I didn’t know where he’s been, I haven’t spoken to Laurie for about two months.”

Two officers from contracting firm Broadspectrum were guarding Dodd while he was in hospital but one reportedly left to get lunch.

Dodd, who was not handcuffed but was chained to his bed, then managed to get the other guard close enough that he could grab the officer and force his escape.

A review into the incident is ongoing and Broadspectrum could face a $100,000 fine.

Premier Mark McGowan said he felt for the guard who made a “human error”.

“It would have been very frightening for him,” he told reporters before Dodd was caught.

“They made a mistake, he took advantage and he’s clearly a violent and dangerous person.”

Dodd’s two previous escapes were from Broome Regional Prison in 1999 and the West Australian Supreme Court along with eight other offenders in 2004.