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PM visits Her Majesty’s prison

PM visits Her Majesty’s prison
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves

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During a visit to Her Majesty’s Prisons on the morning of last week’s prison break, the Prime Minister, who is also minister of National Security, questioned those on duty and spoke to prisoners in the cells involved in the incident.

Dr Ralph Gonsalves while speaking this Wednesday, December 16, on NBC radio’s “Morning Cup” program said he received a call at 6:20 am from the Superintendent of Prisons, Brenton Charles, informing him about the breach.

“I got a call from the Superintendent of Prisons indicating to me that he had received the news at 6am or thereabouts that two prisoners had broken out from Her Majesty’s Prisons in Kingstown,” the Prime Minister recalled.

From that point, as Minister of National Security, his next moves were to coordinate with the relevant agencies.

He contacted the Commissioner of Police, Colin John; the Commander of the Coast Guard, Brenton Cain; the Chief Medical Officer, Simone Keizer-Beach, the Regional Security System (RSS) and neighbouring countries.

“You may wonder why the Chief Medical Officer,” he mentioned to the radio host. “if someone breaks out of jail, very often they have an injury of some kind or another and they may require medical attention, and just in case that is so, I had to alert her and get additional security at the hospital,” the Prime Minister explained.

After completing these tasks, just before 8 am, he said he went to the prisons and stayed there for two and a half hours.

“…Because I wanted to question all those persons who were on duty or as many of them as I could in the circumstances, to examine the various books, in which records are kept, and also to visit the two Cell blocks in question and talk to some of the prisoners myself who were there in the relevant blocks,” he stated.

Ulrick ‘Chucky’ Hanson, and Veron Primus, two accused murderers, escaped through the roof of a cell in Block Star Class 2 at Her Majesty’s Prisons in Kingstown. Primus, who was sentenced to 24 months in prison for this crime and three months for damage to Government property, told the police that a nipper was used across a span of two days to make a gaping hole.

After a massive manhunt was launched by the police, both prisoners were recaptured on Thursday, December 10, one day after their escape. Acting on information, the police found the escapees at a Lowman’s Leeward apartment belonging to one Shadene Farrell, who has since been charged and sentenced to one year for her crime of preventing their apprehension.

This recent prison break is the second time that Primus has breached prison security. He first did so on Tuesday, October 1, 2019, but turned himself in to the police hours after his escape. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison for this offence, but the facts compiled by the police at that time did not shed light on how he was able to achieve his dash to freedom in that instance.