Seven days on the run ended quickly and quietly yesterday on
a cold Milton afternoon. Escaped prisoner Stephen Maddren was
found curled up in a hot water cupboard in a shearers
''I feel sorry for him in a way, really. I don't want him to
come to any harm,'' the shearer who found him said.
''[But] he can't stay here, mate.
''He probably has to go back where he came from.''
Maddren's mum 'really, really happy'
Maddren (25) escaped from the Otago Corrections Facility at
Milburn by climbing a drainpipe and jumping from a height of
two or three storeys.
His recapture was far more mundane.
The shearer at the Arthur St residence, who asked not to be
named, said he had returned from work early.
He went to have a shower and got a towel from the cupboard.
''I just stumbled across him.
''He was curled up on the floor.''
Maddren appeared not to wake up, but the shearer recognised
his profile from a newspaper picture.
''I was quite surprised but probably, in a way, he's
Shearers had noticed food going missing and a stash of pies,
hot dogs and cheese rolls was found in the cupboard.
Police were called, and off-duty Senior Constable Steve
Griffiths arrived to arrest the escaped prisoner.
Clutha-Taieri area response manager Senior Sergeant Al Dickie
said the unarmed officer was called to the scene from his
home, as other officers were ''some distance away''.
The arrest by Snr Const Griffiths was without incident.
''He's going to get a chocolate fish,'' Snr Sgt Dickie joked
outside the Milton police station, where Maddren was held
immediately after the arrest.
''I'm pretty pleased to have this outcome. We've lost a few
Both police and the shearer reckoned Maddren had been at the
Arthur St property for up to three days.
Snr Sgt Dickie said Maddren was quiet after his capture, and
''a bit down in the mouth''.
''He's not saying anything to us.''
The prisoner maintained he had been in Milton for the
majority of his week-long sojourn, although ''we need to
check all that out''.
There was no suggestion anybody had been harbouring him.
There was concern during the search about Maddren's health,
especially as he had started out with no shoes and had been
out in cold temperatures.
Yesterday, Snr Sgt Dickie said Maddren appeared healthy.
He was ''picking things out of his feet - but he did have a
pair of shoes''.
The shearers residence had not previously been searched by
police, as no information had come in that he might be there.
He was found wearing shearers' clothing.
Snr Sgt Dickie said there had been all sorts of tips about
where Maddren might have been and police had looked in many
The shoes were gone by the time Maddren was herded -
handcuffed, and surrounded by a phalanx of police officers -
to a waiting prison van.
He turned his back on waiting media so his face could not be
seen, and was driven to court in Dunedin.