Escaped prisoner found sleeping in hot water cupboard

By Derek Cheng

A corrections officer participates in a hunt for Stephen Maddren (inset) along State Highway One near Milton. Photo / ODT/ NZ Police
A corrections officer participates in a hunt for Stephen Maddren (inset) along State Highway One near Milton. Photo / ODT/ NZ Police

Escaped prisoner Stephen Uriah Maddren, who had been on the run for a week, has been found sleeping in a hot water cupboard in the small town of Milton.

Police recaptured Maddren, 25, about 12.30pm today and took him back into custody. He is the only person to have escaped from the Otago Corrections Facility at Milburn.

Southern District Command Centre Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said the owner of a rural property was surprised this morning to discover Maddren asleep in his hot water cupboard.

He called police, who arrived and took Maddren to the station in Milton.

Maddren escaped while being transferred from prison to Dunedin District Court last Tuesday.

It is thought that he climbed a downpipe on to a prison roof, and jumped from a height of two to three storeys to the other side.

He had no shoes, and was wearing only trackpants and a top. His escape triggered a large search operation, during which Maddren's mother, who declined to be named, pleaded for Maddren to turn himself in.

The Department of Corrections has not commented on why Maddren -- who appeared in court in 2010 on charges of escaping custody -- was not handcuffed at the time he escaped.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley has said that an investigation into how he escaped would take place.

- APNZ

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