3 inmates use bedsheets to escape from Lusignan Prison
The Guyana Prison Service is now on the hunt for three inmates, who on Saturday escaped from the Lusignan Prison Holding Bay, on the East Coast of Demerara by using a bedsheet as their improvised rope.
Those who escaped are Phillip Jhogroo of Lot B3 Good Intent, Leguan, who was indicted for murder; Mark Emmanuel of Grove Sea Dam, East Bank Demerara, who was serving time for robbery and Donald Baird of Hardina Street, Wortmanville, who was also indicted for murder.
Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels confirmed that the incident occurred between 01:28h and 01:48h on Saturday morning. However, the Officer in Charge of the prison reported the matter at 05:20h.
Reports are it was during a routine check that an improvised rope made of bed sheet was seen hanging from the southwestern corner of the prison fence.
This prompted a physical muster and it was discovered that the three prisoners were unaccounted for.
The Guyana Police Force is also part of the investigation team that is seeking to recapture the criminals. Family members have since been warned not to offer any support to the escaped inmates.
“The Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Prison Service are conducting further investigations surrounding the escape. Every effort is being made to recapture the three escapees. Family members and members of the public are advised not to offer any support to the escapees. Should you see them or have any information on their whereabouts, please contact the nearest police station,” Samuels said in a statement on Saturday.
Last month, three inmates also escaped from the Lusignan Prison by jumping a fence. After a manhunt was launched, two of them were recaptured at Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo (EBE), hours later.
Those recaptured were: Alex Mathias of Good Hope Dock Yard, Essequibo, who was committed to stand trial for murder with his case underway at the Leonora Magistrate’s Court, and Arnold Kennedy, of Lot 847 Zeeburg Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara (WCD).
The third fugitive was Mark Rafino of Goed Intent, West Bank Demerara (WBD), who has been committed to stand trial for robbery.
Prior to this, the last known incident of a jailbreak of this nature occurred on September 23, when 23-year-old Leroy Graham, who is accused of robbery under arms, escaped from the prison by jumping a fence at the burnt section of the penitentiary. Graham was later recaptured.
On September 29, James Moore, also 23, who was serving a three-year sentence for armed robbery at the Lusignan Prison, escaped from custody. Moore made his escape when he, along with 13 other inmates, were booked out from the Holding Bay to work at the kitchen.
The Lusignan Prison has seen several fires within the past five years, which have been set by inmates. As such, many prisoners had to be held in the Holding Bay or transferred to other penitentiaries due to limited space. The last fire occurred on July 12, 2020, after a single search of an inmate led to the discovery of contraband.
At that time, another incident was also occurring simultaneously, whereby a prisoner was behaving “hostile.” He was assaulted by a prison officer and taken out to the prison’s yard, where another assault followed. This escalated the situation whereby the inmates started a riot by breaking sections of the building and setting it alight.
As a result of the fire, 11 persons were injured – two of which were taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to receive further medical attention. No one escaped during the chaos. Following the 2017 deadly fire at the Camp Street, Georgetown prison, and the 2017 prison break, the current Government had moved a motion in Parliament to have the APNU/AFC Government accept responsibility for tragic events at the prison.
Since taking office in August, the PPP/C Administration has taken a decision to reconstruct facilities at the Lusignan Prison. This was according to Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn during a visit to the penitentiary.