A man who escaped from police custody by scaling a 10 foot fence was ‘consumed with a desire’ to spend Christmas with his family, a court has heard.
Dean Beattie, whose address was given as no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to escaping from lawful custody on December 23, last year.
His escape was captured on camera by journalists who had been located outside Derry’s Bishop Street Courthouse.
Derry Crown Court heard the 23-year-old was transported to court by police in a ‘soft cell van.’
Handcuffs were not used by police because they deemed him to be ‘low risk.’
As he was in the courtyard, Beattie jumped over a five foot fence and then climbed over a 10 foot fence before running off towards The Diamond.
He was arrested 10 days later at an address in Glenvale Road.
CCTV and footage from TV camera’s of Beattie’s escape was played to the court.
Defence counsel Sean Doherty said the escape was ‘entirely opportunistic and impulsive act by the defendant’.
He added that it was two days before Christmas and Beattie was ‘consumed with a desire to spend the festive period with his family’.
Mr. Doherty told the court that the 23-year-old had not done this since the age of 16 because he was always in prison.
The barrister said Beattie has shown a ‘degree of agility and athleticism’ in his escape, but has had a ‘long time’ in custody to comtemplate his actions.
Jailing Beattie for four months, Judge Philip Babington said “you know you shouldn’t have done this.
“Perhaps one can understand your wish to spend Christmas with your family and friends. The police trusted you to co-operate with them and you took advantage of that.”