Charge of jail break dropped

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

A CHARGE against convicted Gladstone murderer Russell Williams that he planned a jail break using a helicopter has been struck out by a Brisbane magistrate.

Yesterday his mother, Margaret Williams, said she was relieved to hear the news and looked forward to her son's release from prison.

However, the news is sure to revive memories of the brutal murder of Joanne Brown nine years ago when Williams shot her with a shotgun at point blank range in the public bar of the Railway Hotel at Calliope.

Williams avoided a police manhunt but gave himself up in Brisbane five days later.

In June last year it was alleged he had paid another person to hijack a helicopter at gunpoint to lift him (Williams) out of the Lotus Glen Correctional Centre near Cairns.

His mother, Margaret Russell, told The Observer the magistrate had dismissed the charge.

'The judge said the trial was a complete waste of time,' she said.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department confirmed the charge of 'aiding persons to escape from lawful custody' had been struck out on February 20.

'Russell had always said why should he break out of prison when he had already served 10 years,' Mrs Williams said.

'He said if he had wanted to escape, he could have flown out of the country at any time in those five days before he gave himself up.'

She now hoped her son would be released from jail at the earliest possible parole period in four or five years time.

She said her son regretted his action 'and more than just because of his jail term''.

'I told him I still have not forgiven him for what he did to both Jo and his boy, but he is still my son and I love him.'

Mrs Williams said her son planned to live away from Gladstone when he was released.

She said while in prison her son had been undertaking studies and had almost reached university level.

She said he was hoping to have his privileges restored, including the opportunity to have his computer returned so that he could continue his studies.



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