Australian police say fugitive entered Sydney police station to surrender nearly 30 years after using a hacksaw blade and bolt cutters to escape jail
CANBERRA, Australia – A 64-year-old fugitive entered a Sydney police station to surrender nearly 30 years after using a hacksaw blade and bolt cutters to escape prison, announced Wednesday the police.
Darko Desic decided to return to prison because Sydney’s COVID-19 lockdown left him jobless and homeless, media reported.
Desic attended Dee Why Police Station on trendy North Sydney Beaches on Sunday morning and was denied bail when he appeared in a city center court on Tuesday for being escaped from legal custody in 1992, according to a police statement. The charge carries a sentence of seven years in prison.
“He slept on the beach on Saturday night and said, ‘Do this, I’m going to go back to jail where there is a roof over my head,'” a source told the newspaper.
Desic was 35 when he escaped from a century-old prison in Grafton, 620 kilometers (390 miles) north of Sydney, on the night of July 31 to August 31. 1, 1992.
Police allege he used tools including a hacksaw blade and bolt cutters to cut through bars on his cell window and perimeter fence.
Born in the former Yugoslavia, Desic told police he escaped because he believed he would be deported once he served his sentence, the newspaper reported. He feared that he would be punished for failing to complete his compulsory military service in his former country, which has since split into several nations.
Desic told police he had spent all of his time free on the beaches of northern Sydney on the outskirts of Avalon and, according to the newspaper, never came to police attention during that time.
Desic kept a low profile but was previously mentioned in “Australia’s Most Wanted”, a real crime television show that ran for a decade until 1999, after someone reported seeing him in Nowra, 190 kilometers away. (120 miles) south of Sydney.