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P.E.I. man who escaped from jail gets 11-month sentence

P.E.I. Supreme Court and P.E.I. Court of Appeal
P.E.I. Supreme Court and P.E.I. Court of Appeal - Ryan Ross
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A P.E.I. man who escaped from the Provincial Correctional Centre through a window with another inmate was sentenced Thursday to 11 months in jail.

Murray James Todd, 31, appeared before Justice Nancy Key in P.E.I. Supreme Court in Charlottetown by video from jail where he was still serving a sentence on other matters.

Todd previously pleaded guilty to prison breach after his escape with 10 months left on a sentence for several offences.

Todd and his co-accused, Brandon Jeffrey Quinn, escaped from the jail on April 12 after breaking a cell window.

Both men fled on foot into nearby woods before ending up in a swamp, turning around heading off in another direction.

A bed check found the men were missing, which led to a police search involving a police dog and a drone.

The court heard the police arrested both men at different locations after receiving several tips.

Last month, a judge sentenced Quinn to one year in jail for his escape, although he had a prior conviction for mischief after leaving a cell through a hatch that had a broken lock.

On Thursday, defence lawyer Thane MacEachern said that at the time of the escape, Todd was struggling with his addictions and was serving a sentence that was longer than he had expected to receive.

Todd he was also subject to COVID-19 restrictions at the jail and learned his mother in B.C. wasn’t doing well, MacEachern said.

“Mr. Todd was struggling considerably during that timeframe.”

MacEachern said Todd is still struggling and hopes more programming will be made available to him.  

Before hearing his sentence, Todd addressed the court over the video, saying he apologized for wasting the court’s time and was sorry for what happened.

“It wasn’t anything that was a good decision at all,” he said.

In sentencing Todd, Key accepted a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence.

After his release from jail, Todd will be on probation for two years.

Ryan Ross is The Guardian's justice reporter.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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