Killers hack their way out of prison

About 150 police wearing flak- jackets hunted late yesterday for five escaped prisoners, including three murderers serving life sentences and described as the most dangerous people in Australia.

"We consider these five escapees to be the most dangerous and desperate people on the streets of Australia at the moment and police are absolutely petrified and terrified as to what they may do to remain at large," a police media spokesman, Brian Swift, told a news conference.

The prisoners, said by police to be armed, used diamond-encrusted wire to break out of Brisbane's maximum-security Sir David Longland jail in the early hours of yesterday.

Police used helicopters after possible sightings in Brisbane's central business district and had earlier warned people in the city's outer suburbs to lock their houses and cars.

Using diamond-encrusted "angel wire" smuggled into the jail, the prisoners cut through the bars of their cells, then used their bed sheets to winch open the bars, said prison officials.

The prisoners then used cell chairs to scale a fence crowned with two rolls of razor wire.

After cutting through three more security fences, the prisoners reached the jail's perimeter fence and were thrown bolt-cutters by two people outside the jail.

The accomplices, armed with a high-powered rifle, began shooting at a guard who was chasing the prisoners as the jail's alarm began to sound.

A volley of 10 to 12 shots was fired, several piercing an armour-plated prison van which was patrolling the jail.

"When the patrol vehicle got to within 70 metres [230 feet] of the perimeter it was fired upon and both of its batteries were destroyed," said the Corrective Services Commission spokesman, Stan Macionis.

One bullet pierced the unarmoured roof of the van but the two officers inside were not hit.

The prisoners and two accomplices then ran down a road to a waiting car and sped off. A police car gave chase, but pulled back when fired on.

The Queensland Police Minister, Russell Cooper, has ordered all prisoners to be locked in their cells pending a report on the massive security breach.

"This is the first time we have had a concerted external assault on a perimeter in such a ruthless and cold, calculated way," said Mr Macionis.

One of the prisoners, Brendan Abbott, is nicknamed the "Post Card Bandit" for sending police taunting holiday picture postcards of himself holding bags of money while on the run.

Abbott, 35, was serving a 12-year term for bank robberies. The other prisoners are Jason Nixon, 27, serving life for murder, Oliver Alincic, 32, serving life for murder, Andrew Jeffrey, 20, serving life for murder and Peter Sterling, 31, serving 13 years and seven months for deprivation of liberty.

Reuters - Brisbane

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas