Escape was to flee 'heroin culture' in Grafton Jail

A 32-YEAR-old escapee from Grafton Jail broke out to get away from a heroin culture, Grafton Local Court was told on Monday.

Luke Michael Francis Baillie answered seven charges arising from a crime spree that ensued when he and another prisoner, James Cook, cut their way out of the jail on January 27, 2011.

Cook was found hiding in bushes in Alipou Creek, but Baillie embarked on a crime spree.

Solicitor, Joe Fahey, said Bailey had a long association with illegal drugs.

"He has a long history of dishonesty which is mainly drug related," Mr Fahey said.

"But up until his time in jail he had no problem with heroin, it was a habit he picked up inside.

"It was why he got out of jail, he had to escape to get away from the heroin in there."

Mr Fahey said his client has been heroin-free for the 18 months after his escape. Police facts state Baillie embarked on a crime spree stealing from a clothes line in South Grafton, he then broke into a house, confronted the owner and stole items including car keys. Baillie drove to Coffs Harbour, broke into a hotel room and stole keys to another car and drove to Port Macquarie.

A month later he was caught by Queensland police in Tweed Heads and charged with a number of offences, convicted and jailed. When his Queensland jail term finished, he was extradited to NSW to face charges arising from his jail break.

He faced seven charges - entering enclosed land, larceny, two counts of stealing a conveyance, two counts of break, enter and steal and one of escaping lawful custody. Baillie was sentenced to 18 months jail with a 12-month non-parole period for the break-and-enter offences and stealing the cars and nine months for the escape.

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