A number of prisoners have escaped Capricornia Correctional Centre over the years.
A number of prisoners have escaped Capricornia Correctional Centre over the years.

The great escape: 7 times CQ prisoners went on the run

FROM short-lived bouts of freedom to dangerous days on the run, there is a long history of escapes from the Capricornia Correctional Centre - and the prisoners tend to make the dash in pairs.


On Guard had launched today.
On Guard had launched today.


As NewsCorp launches its new podcast On Guard - an eight-part series that exposes what life is really like working at Australia's toughest prisons - The Morning Bulletin takes a look back at some of the most captivating events to come out of our region's very own facility.


June 6, 2018: Prisoners Nelson Jack Kepa, 21, and Levi James Brown, 25, were undertaking a community work order at the Rockhampton Showgrounds when Corrective Services officers reported them missing.

Kepa embarked on a crime spree to facilitate his trip back to Mackay where his "Nan" lived. He was recaptured four days later in Bassett St, North Mackay.


Levi James Brown.
Levi James Brown.

It took authorities a while longer to recapture Brown.

When he was arrested two weeks later, he told police he had been on a methamphetamine bender for four days, not eating and not sleeping.

The two-week crime spree involved stealing five cars, seven fuel drive offs, breaking into a Paget business and stealing a set of keys and taking a vehicle, ramming two police cars, driving on the wrong side of the road to avoid police and stingers which had been deployed, and attempting to ram a police car into a concrete divider.

It all came to an end on June 19, when he was unceremoniously found by police drug-affected and dumped on the side of the road in Habana.



Nelson Jack Kepa.
Nelson Jack Kepa.

January 28, 2018: Jermaine Lee Anderson and Brian Illington Trent Tapim escaped Capricornia Correctional Centre using a wheelie bin and doona to jump the barbed wire fence.

The pair headed north to Mackay, leading to a huge manhunt involving officers from several districts.

Tapim was the first to be recaptured when, after 36 hours on the run he ran out of a cane paddock stark naked and distraught. Cane farmer Col Sievers said Tapim ran out of the cane paddock and tried to steal his neighbour's car, before grabbing a pair of his trousers off the clothes line.

Mr Sievers said Tapim then came into his house and sat at his kitchen table, begging for a glass of water.

Tapim then tried each of the cars in Mr Sievers' garage, including the four-wheeler in his paddock but failed.

The escapee then sat himself down in a chair outside the neighbour's house.

Queensland Police arrested Tapim about 3.30pm.

On February 1, Anderson was also recaptured, without incident, on George Street in South Mackay.

The moment when Queensland Police arrested Brian Tapim on the front porch of an Oakenden property.
The moment when Queensland Police arrested Brian Tapim on the front porch of an Oakenden property.

May 27, 2017: Violent prisoners Aaron Woods and Ryan Miller managed to travel all the way to Brisbane after escaping from Capricornia Correctional Centre.

Woods was serving 13 years for assault and other offences and Miller was serving about three years and six months for assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

While the pair managed to make their way to Brisbane, their freedom was short-lived when they were apprehended in North Brisbane on May 28 and taken into custody.


Scan to discover the On Guard series.
Scan to discover the On Guard series.




February 20, 2017: Adrian Boughton didn't get far when he escaped the facility's Low Security Prison Farm.

He was discovered missing in the 7.30am headcount on February 20.

Rockhampton Police received a call at 10 o'clock that night, saying the escapee wished to hand himself in.

A Glendale resident contacted police to say the escapee was located at the front of their address, wishing to surrender.


March 2016: Kevin Andrew O'Connor was last seen playing tennis in the facility and his tennis racquet was found near a vegie patch after his escape.

O'Connor was serving 11 months 13 days for several offences, including drug possession and producing drugs, when he escaped.

His partner Nikki Watson helped him escape, after parking her car along the Bruce Highway waiting for O'Connor, who had jumped the prison fence and made a run for the highway.

After six days on the run, O'Connor was recaptured by police in Emerald after a tip-off from a member of the community.



Queensland Corrections headshot of Tony Dwaine Morgan.
Queensland Corrections headshot of Tony Dwaine Morgan.


April 13, 2014: Tony Dwaine Morgan and Bradley Thomas Kuhl spent three days evading police around the Rockhampton region after their escape from Capricornia Correctional Centre.

The pair rolled up a prison fence and slipped underneath it to escape.

A day later, they were spotted in their prison uniforms at in the IGA supermarket at Emu Park.


CCTV footage of an armed robbery involving Bradley Thomas Kuhl.
CCTV footage of an armed robbery involving Bradley Thomas Kuhl.

Morgan was serving a life sentence for murder after he and an accomplice stole $250 from a 16-year-old, before Morgan stabbed the boy in the chest, which led to the boy's death.

Kuhl was serving six years for armed robbery after threatening a 17-year-old girl with an assault rifle while stealing money from the Oaks Service Station.

They were recaptured near Keppel Sands on April 16, driving a stolen white 2002 Toyota Landcruiser utility, after they were spotted buying a six-pack of beer at the Cawarral pub.


Jason Benjamin Hardie.
Jason Benjamin Hardie.

June 19, 2012: Jason Benjamin Hardie was sentenced to an extra 934 days behind bars after he escaped Capricornia Correctional Centre.

He spent almost four weeks on the run, stealing jewellery, a car and petrol along the way.

After fleeing custody, Hardie snuck into a Rockhampton house where he took more than $6100 in jewellery and keys to a blue Subaru, which he drove south.

He then stopped 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.


Episode one of the On Guard series hears from Kerry Corbin, who left his job as a truck driver to become a prison officer in 2008. He spent seven years with Queensland Corrective Services, mostly surrounded by sex offenders and paedophiles at Wolston Correctional Centre, Brisbane.

After a violent inmate assault, he retired on medical grounds and says he has never been the same since. Click here to find out more.

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