Questions raised over hospital security after four charged over Fremantle escape

Questions raised over hospital security after four charged over Fremantle escape

POLICE have charged four people for their alleged involvement in the escape of a dangerous prisoner being treated at Fremantle Hospital about 2.20pm yesterday.

It will be alleged a car approached a group of officers and the prisoner, before a man got out of the vehicle with a handgun and injured one of the officers.

It is alleged the car was driven by a woman who drove off with the man and the prisoner.

The escape sparked a massive police response across southern suburbs before the prisoner was recaptured on Thomas Road, Medina, about 5.30pm yesterday.

This morning, WA Police Union Secretary John Welch questioned why a dangerous prisoner was being treated at the non-secure hospital.

Mr Welch said while the escape may not have been prevented at any another facility, and the prisoner may have been at Fremantle for treatment unavailable at Fiona Stanley, it was inappropriate that hospital’s secure unit could be “left idle”.

A spokeswoman for Fiona Stanley Hospital said the secure unit had been in use since March 2015, but citing patient confidentiality she would not comment on what treatment required the dangerous prisoner to be sent to Fremantle.

“All patients are treated at a facility most appropriate for the care they most need,” the spokeswoman said.

Asked how soon the non-secure Fremantle Hospital could be closed to prisoners, Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan said the escape need “thorough” investigation, but it would be inappropriate to comment until all facts had been determined.

The Opposition has been contacted.

The four charged people will appear in Perth Magistrates Court today.

The 33-year-old prisoner faces charges of forcibly rescuing a sentence offender, assaulting a public officer, threats to kill and failing to give personal details to police.

A 29-year-old man, of no fixed address, is charged with forcibly rescuing sentenced offenders, aggravated assault of a public officer, threats to kill, firearm and unlicensed ammunition possession, and giving false details to police.

A 26-year-old Success woman is charged with forcibly rescuing sentenced offenders, assaulting a public officer and threatening to kill.

A 35-year-old Armadale woman is charged with aiding an escapee and will appear at Fremantle Magistrates Court on November 28.