Man used 'any way to get out' of handcuffs

A MAN dislocated his thumb and cut up his wrist while slipping out of a pair of handcuffs and fleeing police custody, a court has heard.

Police could not find Nicholas Paul Lee, 24, during a search of the surrounding Wendouree area, but arrested him at home four hours after the daring escape.

Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday heard Lee was highly anxious following the initial arrest, which was over a domestic incident where he was found in his ex-girlfriend’s backyard with three fireworks in his pocket.

“He was really looking for any way to get out of there,” defence lawyer David Tamanika said.

“He’s not double-jointed or anything, he’s just pulled his thumb out of joint, tore some skin off and was able to get free.”

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent said police were called to Lee’s ex-girlfriend’s Wendouree home about 1.30am on March 26.

Officers found Lee in the backyard, where they searched him and found the fireworks in his pocket.

He said Lee was put in a police vehicle where he started to give a statement before escaping “by unknown means”.

He was located about 5.30am at home, Senior Constable Kent said.

The court heard the offending would have breached a suspended sentence had it taken place three weeks earlier.

Police also located a quantity of cannabis in Lee’s car, which he left behind when he escaped.

Mr Tamanika described the fireworks offence as “general tomfoolery” .

Magistrate Frank Jones sentenced Lee to a six-month community corrections order, including 25 hours of unpaid community work.

Lee pleaded guilty to six charges, including escaping police custody and theft of handcuffs.


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