Escape adds 934 days to man's sentence
HE COULD have been released in February, but after escaping from a Rockhampton prison almost 12 months ago, Jason Benjamin Hardie, 26, must now spend 934 extra days behind bars.
Hardie broke out of Capricornia Correctional Centre's minimum-security farm facility on the evening of June 19, 2012, leading authorities on a chase spanning 700km along the Queensland coastline.
He spent almost four weeks on the run, stealing jewellery, a car and petrol along the way.
After fleeing custody, Hardie first snuck into a Rockhampton house where he took more $6100 in jewellery and keys to a blue Subaru, which he drove south.
A court order disqualifying his driving was not a barrier to him driving to Brisbane, stopping to steal fuel first from a Gladstone service station; then again from a second service station in Beenleigh.
Police caught up with Hardie in the Brisbane suburb of Algester on July 13, where he was bitten by a police dog as he attempted to avoid arrest.
In Brisbane District Court on Friday, Hardie pleaded guilty to escaping custody, driving while disqualified by a court order, resisting a police officer and two counts of stealing
Hardie had previously been given court-ordered parole for February 27, just 10 months into the 2.5 year sentence he was serving for an earlier theft conviction.
Had he not escaped, he would certainly have been released from prison on that date but Hardie traded his parole for less than 25 days on the run.
By law, those convicted of escaping custody must have further time added to their sentence - it cannot be served concurrently with jail time given for other charges.
Judge Gary Long SC sentenced Hardie to serve 22 months on top of his current punishment, which would have ended in late 2014.
He will not be eligible for parole until September 19, 2015.