Tue | Jan 23, 2018

A diary of Jailbreaks – 2004-2015

Published:Monday | December 14, 2015 | 11:06 PM

Over the past decade, jailbreaks have become quite a familiar occurrence in western Jamaica, with all five western parishes having their fair share of unsolicited drama, which see prisoners seeking to regain their freedom without facing justice, having run afoul of the law.

Cases such as the mysterious 2013 escape of Craig Taylor, from the Freeport Police Station, in Montego Bay, took a most interesting twist after he was allegedly recaptured under a table at the home of a policewoman. He was reportedly clad in a bathrobe and bed slippers.

In another intriguing case, the Western Focus understands that, during the 2006 jailbreak at the Clarke's Town Police Station, in Trelawny; one of the escapees was tiptoeing his way past four policemen, who were playing dominoes in a hallway, when one of the dominoes fell. The quick-thinking escapee reportedly picked up the domino, handed it to one of the policemen and as the game resumed, he calmly continued his walk to freedom.

Below are some of the jailbreaks that have occurred in western Jamaica between 2004 and 2015.

February 2004

Three prisoners escaped from the police lock-up in Falmouth, Trelawny. It is said that they made their escape through the rickety wooden roof of a cell. The roof also served as the flooring for the offices located above the cell bloc. In the aftermath of the jailbreak, Durant Kelly, the most well-known of the escapees, was turned over to the police by his sister, whose home he went to after breaking free.

February 2006

Fifteen prisoners, who were facing charges ranging from murder to robbery with aggravation, escaped from the lock-up at the Clarke's Town Police Station, in Trelawny, after breaking away a metal bar on the door to their cell. In the aftermath of that jailbreak, some of the other prisoners were transferred to other facilities to ease the chronic overcrowding at the facility.

April 2012

Curtis Brown, otherwise called 'Soup' of Maroon Town, St James; and Alexander Kerr, alias 'Rod', of Chester Castle, Hanover; both escaped from the lock-up at the Ramble Police Station, in Hanover, where they were being held as suspects in a murder case.

Despite an early alarm and a subsequent manhunt, involving members of the community, the men made good their escape.

January 2013

Craig Taylor, described as a dangerous prisoner, mysteriously disappeared from the lock-up at the Freeport Police Station, in Montego Bay, where he was held on several charges. Several police officers were charged in connection with his escape. He was allegedly recaptured at the home of a policewoman, who was reportedly charged with harbouring a fugitive.

September 2014

Fahdean Ferguson, escaped from the Barnett Street lock-up in St. James, where he was taken to participate in an identification parade. On being recaptured, he claimed that the police had told him he was free to go. He is said to be a witness in the Mario Deane murder case.

June 2015

Eight prisoners, including four men charged with murder, escaped from the Savanna-la-Mar lock-up, in Westmoreland. Subsequent to their escape, a search of their cell turned up hacksaw blades, a large hammer and a piece of metal plate, which they reportedly use to conceal the hole they dug to make their escape.

November 2015

Six prisoners, including a convicted double murderer, escaped from the Freeport Police Station, under the cover of darkness. They reportedly tunnelled their way out through a wall, which they created behind a faulty toilet bowl.

- A.F.