Man admits escaping from custody and sparking four-hour manhunt

Conlon Carr, Picture: Police Scotland
Conlon Carr, Picture: Police Scotland

A THUG has admitted escaping from G4S officers and sparking a four hour manhunt involving 80 police officers and a helicopter.

Conlon Carr slipped out of handcuffs as security guards were taking him into a prison van at St Leonard’s police station in Edinburgh last year.

Carr, who had been taking part in an identity parade, sprinted away from the security officers and hid out in grassland surrounding the capital’s Arthur’s Seat for around four hours.

The 20-year-old - who was jailed last February for a horror car smash that left his brother and girlfriend seriously injured - was eventually captured by police officers who found him hiding near a biscuit factory in the Peffermill area of the city.

Carr pleaded guilty to absconding from G4S security officers at St Leonard’s station in December last year when he appeared from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Fiscal depute Lorna Ferrier told the court 80 police officers were alerted to the prisoner’s disappearance on December 12 with the large-scale manhunt involving ground teams and a police helicopter.

READ MORE: Absconded prisoner Conlon Carr found

Ms Ferrier said: “On 6 December he appeared in court on another matter and a Viper parade (identity parade) was ordered.

“He was taken to St Leonard’s police station for this purpose at 8am where he had left Polmont YOI. The accused was processed and the Viper was completed.

“Around 10.30am the accused was ready to return [to Polmont]. He was placed in handcuffs on his right hand and was taken out the back door towards the G4S van.

“As the officers and accused approached the van he was asked to step up into the van. He then grabbed his right hand with his left and the accused nudged the officer out of the way and forced his right hand free from the cuffs.”

“He ran away and the officer gave chase unsuccessfully.”

A huge search was then sparked using “both local and national police resources” with “around 80 officers and a helicopter” involved in the hunt for Carr.

Carr was eventually caught near to a biscuit factory in the Peffermill area of the city around at around 2.20pm later that day.

READ MORE: Helicopter search at Arthur’s Seat after teen escapes custody

David Allan, defending, said his client had “noticed the handcuff had not been put on as firmly as it usually was” and decided to make his escape.

Sheriff Peter Braid remanded Carr in custody and deferred sentence to later this month.

Carr admitted escaping from prison officers at St Leonard’s police station, Edinburgh, on December 12 last year.

Last February Carr was jailed for two years after he admitted smashing a stolen BMW into a double decker bus near Prestonpans, East Lothian.

His brother Alexander and girlfriend Erynne Gallagher had to be cut free from the wreckage after Carr had lost control and careered head on into the number 23 Lothian bus on November 20, 2016.

He had stolen the high-powered motor ten days before the crash and was reported to police after driving into the back of a Fiat Punto.

Carr sped off after the Punto driver pulled over to swap details but soon lost control of the white BMW and ploughed into the bus.

Carr was able to free himself from the wreckage but both his passengers had to be cut out by fire fighters using specialist equipment.

Carr suffered bruising to his ribs and lung, while brother Alexander broke his pelvis and Ms Gallagher required surgery to a broken pelvis and a damaged spleen.

He was jailed for two years and banned from driving for three years at the capital’s sheriff court on February 23 last year.

At the time, Sheriff Thomas Welsh said: “The facts are the car was crushed and a girl had to be cut out by the fire brigade.

“This was a serious incident and there was considerable harm done, albeit the people injured are recovering.

“In the circumstances I am of the view a custodial sentence is inevitable in a case like this.”