Sex offender captured in Ararat

File photo.
File photo.

UPDATE 9.30AM: Police have just arrested Sean Carmody-Coyle after a manhunt that lasted more than 24 hours.

The escapee was found at a bus stop in Ararat just after 9am this morning and is currently being interviewed at the Ararat police station.

Uniformed officers, detectives and the canine unit were all involved in the hunt.

A Victoria Police spokesperson confirmed the 28-year-old had been arrested and said charges were expected to be laid later in the day.

EARLIER: A registered sex offender with a “significant history of violence” remains on the run after breaking out of an Ararat corrections facility for the second time yesterday morning.

Sean Carmody-Coyle, is believed to have tampered with a GPS anklet he was wearing and escaped on a mountain bike just after 1am.

Armed with up to five kitchen knives, police have warned the public not to approach the escapee, who is

described as extremely large in stature, standing at more than 200cm tall.

Police in Ballarat received a number of reported sightings of Carmody-Coyle yesterday, including areas of Wendouree, Mt Clear and Magpie.

However, there was no trace of the 28-year-old.

Carmody-Coyle, who has a criminal history of violent sexual offending, is in his second year of a five-year order at Corella Place, which houses child sex offenders and rapists who have finished their sentences but are considered unacceptable risks to the community.

He first attempted to escape the facility last year, when he was four months into his order, but was found in Buangor and arrested on the Western Highway, about 23 kilometres from Ararat, the next day.

Victoria Police Detective Inspector Ian Campbell said police had found the bike that was believed to have been used in the escape, although he would not say where it was located.

Detective Campbell said police did not get the call to aid in the search for the escapee until about 2.30am – almost 90 minutes after the breach was triggered.

“Carmody-Coyle has a significant history of violence and serious sexual assaults involving women,” he said.

“We are warning the public he is not to be approached, he is extremely large in stature.

“Both anklets have been switched off, we don’t know what has occurred, corrections are initiating their own investigation. Until he is located we are unable to say exactly what has occurred.”

It is believed the offender has family or friends in Melbourne.

A government spokesman yesterday defended the security of the corrections facility, which is located near the Ararat prison.

James Talia, spokesman for Corrections Minister Edward O’Donohue, said the facility was as secure as legislation allowed, given its residents had actually finished their sentence.

Mr Talia said Carmody-Coyle was sentenced to three months’ prison after his attempted escape last year, but that time had since been served.

“It’s as secure as it can be, it’s not a prison, they aren’t actually serving a sentence,” he said.

“If it wasn’t for a facility like this, they would be free in the community.”

Carmody-Coyle is described as being of Caucasian appearance, around 204cm tall with an athletic build. 

He was last seen wearing a black top and black tracksuit pants. 

Investigators have released an image of him and are urging anyone who sights him to contact police immediately. 

Anyone with any information about his whereabouts should call triple-0 immediately.