Fugitive Stephen Maddren told a friend he was going to be
the first person to escape from the Otago Corrections Facility
Mark Dunn described Maddren (25) as a hard worker with a
troubled background, including spending time in foster care
''that set him up for running from government institutions''.
Maddren knew he would be sent back to prison again and told
Mr Dunn and other friends he could escape from Otago
Corrections Facility, as ''he doesn't believe he fits in with
On Tuesday afternoon, a barefoot Maddren became the first
person to escape from the Milburn prison, and remains at
''He believed he could do it,'' Mr Dunn said.
''Because in society he is considered a nobody, I guess this
is a way of becoming somebody.''
Mr Dunn said if he was asked by police, ''I could get him to
''I expected him to turn up at my place ... he left the last
stuff he owned at my house.''
He was sure if police called off the search Maddren, who he
described as ''fearless'', would return to Dunedin.
If the search continued, Maddren - who had lived rough at
times - would continue to be elusive.
''The more pressure they put on him, the worse the outcome,''
''Our family hasn't given up on him. We want to see him
rehabilitated back to the community but just how that happens
we aren't sure.''
Mr Dunn said he first met Maddren several years ago when he
approached Mr Dunn's father for some work.
He was very shy and would cover his mouth due to his lack of
He had recently sought help to get new teeth.
The Dunn family helped organise employment so he could raise
the required $2000 but Maddren ended up giving some of his
money away to friends who were also struggling financially.
''That is typical of him - he liked to make people happy and
go out of his way to help someone with a greater need than
Mr Dunn has not given up hope Maddren will turn his life
around, ''but someone needs to listen to his whole story''.