Six-month sentence for courthouse escape attempt

A prisoner’s desperate bid for freedom from the Red Deer Courthouse has landed him a six-month jail sentence.

A prisoner’s desperate bid for freedom from the Red Deer Courthouse has landed him a six-month jail sentence.

Dustin Aaron Clark, 36, was in custody appearing in Red Deer’s Court of Queen’s Bench in connection with robbery charges on Feb. 4 when he jumped the wall of the prisoner’s dock and made a break for it with a sheriff in hot pursuit.

The sheriff called for backup and as Clark raced down the stairs from the second floor courtroom, he was immediately nabbed by on-duty sheriffs.

Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson said Clark was intercepted about six metres from the doors to the street during his 10 a.m. escape attempt.

He struggled with sheriffs before they got the handcuffs on him.

Clark pleaded guilty on Wednesday to escaping lawful custody and resisting police as part of a joint sentencing submission from the Crown and his lawyer Norm Clair.

McPherson asked Judge Gordon Yake to impose a six-month sentence, the maximum penalty for the escape charge.

“Although he didn’t escape the building, the escape was complete when he jumped out of the prisoner box and ran,” McPherson said. “It certainly was his intent to get out of the building.”

Yake sentenced Clark to six months on each charge, to be served concurrently.

Clark will be back in court on Jan. 7 for a trial arising from a pair of bank robberies in Red Deer last year, at Servus Credit Union and TD Canada Trust branches.

Charges include armed robbery, assault with a weapon (bear spray), wearing a disguise to commit a criminal offence, theft under $5,000 for a pair of prescription glasses and mischief in relation to a broken windscreen.

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