Inmate escape probe could lead to penalty

File pic.
File pic.

A SECURITY contractor may be penalised after a handcuffed remand prisoner escaped from a Perth hospital by “tricking” a guard into helping him with his bed.

Laurie John Junior Dodd, who has a history of escaping custody, fled from Royal Perth Hospital about 12.40pm on Saturday and the 44-year-old remains on the run.

Police said on Monday that Dodd may be with a 44-year-old woman named Cher Blight.

CCTV footage of Dodd leaving a bus in East Perth on Saturday afternoon has also been released.

Laurie John Junior Dodd. Picture: WA Police

Premier Mark McGowan said there had been two officers from contracting firm Broadspectrum with Dodd while he was in hospital.

“The fact that he has escaped is unacceptable… it is quite inexplicable. We are trying to get to the bottom of it,” Mr McGowan told reporters on Monday.

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.

Corrective Services Minister Fran Logan could not say why the contractor was chosen instead of the Corrective Services special operations group to watch over Dodd in hospital given his history of escaping custody.

He also could not confirm reports that one guard had left to get lunch, but said a review into the incident was underway.

“This is a violent person who actually tricked one of the officers into helping him with the bed and then attacked him and then he was forced into releasing the man,” Mr Logan told reporters.

“If they’re found to actually be in breach of the contract there is a penalty that applies.”

Mr Logan said it was impossible for him to cancel the five-year contract with Broadspectrum, which was signed by the previous Liberal government.

Opposition corrective services spokesman Sean L’Estrange accused Mr Logan of “blame shifting” following his mismanagement of the department.

“If those services aren’t up to scratch it’s up to the minister to get in there and have a look at that contract and make sure it’s either improved, or tightened, or that the contractor is held to account,” he told reporters.

“But at the end of the day, it’s still the minister’s responsibility.”

Dodd, who is 187cm tall with fair skin and black hair in a mullet style, may have injuries or bandages on his face and arm.

He is considered dangerous and people are urged to call police if they seem him but keep a distance.