20 Oct 2011

Prison employees suspended after escape

10:33 am on 20 October 2011

Two employees at the Mount Eden Corrections facility have been suspended following the escape of a dangerous prisoner.

Aaron Forden, 30, scaled a fence and fled in the early hours of 10 October.

He was caught in Silverdale, north of Auckland, on Monday, eight days later.

SERCO, the contractor which runs the prison, says the employeesare suspended on full pay until the outcome of an internal investigation.

It was the third time Forden has escaped custody. He previously used a rope of knotted sheets to get out of Mt Eden prison in 2008.

Under SERCO's $300 million contract with the Government, the company faces a $150,000 penalty when a prisoner escapes.

Forden appeared in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday. He was shackled and flanked by guards.

He entered no plea to a charge of escaping and was remanded in custody until 9 November.