Police are still on the hunt for a prisoner who managed to escape from custody while on a toilet break.

That was despite him being secured to a rail and Corrections staff standing guard outside the bathroom waiting for him, Stuff reported.

Uditha Punchihewa, 31, has been on the run since October.


Police issued an alert with a mug shot of the man, who they described as dangerous and stressed should not be approached.

Punchihewa is said to have been inside a bathroom at Hutt Hospital - guarded by authorities - when he managed to get free and sneak out a side door, Stuff reported.

It is not known why he had been admitted to hospital, but that he had been wearing a hospital gown at the time.

Police would later find that he had changed into ordinary clothes taken from a clothesline from a house near the hospital, the publication said.

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The case was highlighted on an episode of Police Ten 7 on Thursday, October 17 - about a week after Punchihewa fled authorities.

Police say he has contacts in Wellington, Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata.

It was initially thought he was driving a silver or grey 1999 Honda Odyssey. However, police later found that vehicle.


Anyone with information on his whereabouts is being urged to contact Police immediately on 111 or anonymously via CrimeStoppers: 0800 555 111.