The Penalties for Escaping Lawful Custody

Sahar Adatia.

 

Desperate times indeed call for desperate measures.

But sometimes, those desperate measures reach heights of despair so profound that, all we can do, perhaps in even more desperation, is wonder: “What in God’s name just happened?”

Such is the case of a Russian man who, not long ago, found himself on trial for killing his sister on claims he was ordered to do so by Satan, which, in itself, should have been a precursor to what happened next.

And that next happening, involved one of the most bizarre escape attempts right in the middle of court – namely in the man clambering up to the ceiling out of his glass box, using his bald head to then break the tiling, before jumping through the hole formed trying to flee the room, all with the sheer optimism that he may, miraculously, go unnoticed.

Righteo then.

Let’s unpack this…

 

A Daring Escape and A Lost Pair of Trousers: How the Escape (and the Criminal’s Pants) Unravelled

The case takes us back to 2019 when, then 18-year-old Leonid Greyser, had been accused of murdering his 21-year-old sister and faced Shcherbinsky Court in Moscow over the matter.

As his murder trial proceeded, Mr Greyser, who was seated inside a glass-walled box, decided he would just casually sneak out, with no thought given to the fact that everyone was looking at him.

Indeed, with everyone looking at him, the prospect of going unnoticed wasn’t looking good for the criminal.

Swift to spot Mr Greyser’s escape attempt, police officers – who had now seen the Russian lift himself out of the top of his glass box, ram his head through the ceiling and hoist himself up through it – pounced and caught his leg before he got too far.

But the officer wasn’t fast enough, with the criminal then managing to shake out of part of his trousers and free a leg.

While the policemen continued to grab onto Mr Greyser’s leg, another in the background called for further assistance, at which point, the man’s trousers were seemingly lost altogether.

Ultimately, until help arrived, the officer was able to hold him down.

When back-up officers turned up, they managed to strike the Russian with a taser in order to subdue him.

Following this debacle, Mr Greyser finally agreed to come down and managed to shimmy himself back into the box.

As he pulled his trousers back up, he was then immediately handcuffed to stop any further escapes.

 

Why the Case of the Bungled Escape Suddenly Resurfaced…

All in all, the crazy, botched escape became so memorable, and for the most part, this was because it would be forever preserved in time given footage was captured of the incident, leaving many people finding the funny side of it.

In fact, recently, the video resurfaced on TikTok, reaching viral status and creating quite a stir.

Nevertheless, despite a large chunk of online users seeing the humour of the failed escape, Mr Greyser’s case was a horrendous one.

The man claimed the reason he killed his sister was because he was ordered by Satan to do so, while at the crime scene, witnesses revealed that before police backup arrived, Mr Greyser took off all his clothes and started drawing demonic symbols in blood on his sister’s body and his head.

According to the witnesses, he was asking “to free him of Satan”.

Then, in a confession to Russian Police, he said the killing of his sister was “necessary” and he “did what he had to do”.

In September 2020, Mr Greyser was sentenced to compulsory psychiatric medical treatment by Shcherbinsky District Court in Moscow.

In accordance with Russian law, any further details on the verdict are prevented from being disclosed.

Nevertheless, there is a review every six months of the medical condition.

The Penalties for Escaping Lawful Custody

Whether it’s breaking through the ceiling, tunnelling through sewers to the nearest road, weaving a rope made from prisoner clothing and abseiling out the cell window – whatever creative idea you may come up with – it is actually against the law to escape lawful custody.

And, if you thought it ended there, well, much like …, the law states that merely trying to escape lawful custody is also a criminal offence.

In NSW, this is found in section 310D of the Crimes Act 1900, which makes clear that it is against the law both to escape lawful custody or to simply attempt to do so.

If you are caught committing this offence, the maximum penalty you can face is 10 years in jail.

It should also be noted that under this section, it is against the law as well to fail to return to lawful custody at the end of the period for which you have been released where you have been temporarily released.

Again, being caught committing this offence means you can face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.

Questions on the law? speak to an experienced criminal lawyer Parramatta based today.

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