Prison escapee given three-year sentence

Stephen Maddren. Photo ODT files
Stephen Maddren. Photo ODT files
The man who climbed a drainpipe and leapt from a roof in a prison break before spending a week on the run has been given three years to dwell on his decision.

Stephen Uriah Maddren (25) was yesterday sentenced by Judge Kevin Phillips to three years' jail for the June escape, and other offences.

Maddren managed the rooftop escape - becoming the first inmate to escape since the Otago Corrections Facility opened at Milburn in 2007 - on June 3.

''You were remanded in custody - you didn't like it,'' Judge Phillips told him at sentencing in the Dunedin District Court.

That remand came after crimes earlier in the year, including breaking into a Hillside Rd rest-home, which Judge Phillips described as ‘‘really full on'', considering the age and vulnerabilityof the occupants.

''The chances were there could have been a confrontation.''

Maddren received his cumulative sentence for the escape and burglary, receiving credit, debit, identification and fuel cards, and the theft of a bicycle.

''I consider this an appropriate response to your overall offending.''

Maddren escaped from the Otago Corrections Facility at Milburn by climbing the drainpipe and jumping from a height of two or three storeys.

He stayed on the run despite the effort of police and prison officers.

He was found seven days later curled up in a hot-water cupboard in a shearers' residence in Milton, after being found by a resident.

A stash of pies, hot dogs and cheese rolls was found in the cupboard.

Maddren, wearing jeans and a grey and black jacket, stood still and quiet, with his eyes either on the judge or downcast yesterday.

Of the rest-home burglary on May 11, Judge Phillips said Maddren entered the Radius Fulton Care Centre, ‘‘clearly looking for property you could sell''.

The cards he received he kept ‘‘I'm sure, for dishonest purposes''.

While discussing the sentences, Judge Phillips said there needed to be a deterrent aspect.

From a starting point of a cumulative sentence of four years and three months, Judge Phillips subtracted 25% for a guilty pleas, and 5% for mental health issues.

That came to the sentence of three years.

On a charge of paua poaching, he was convicted and discharged.

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