Prison Breach

The offence of prison breach is outlined in section 144 of the Criminal Code

A person commits the offence of prison breach when they forcefully or violently damage prison structures, like walls or windows, to break themselves or someone else out of prison.

Examples

Person A uses a sharp rock to carve into the wall of their prison cell and make a hole large enough for them to escape out of.

Person B drives their car into a prison to make a hole in the wall so that person C, imprisoned inside, can escape through it.

Cases

R. v. Preddy, 2011 BCCA 324

The accused was convicted of prison breach after he used a piece of porcelain obtained by breaking a sink to break a window and climb onto the roof of the prison. 

R. v. Addley, 2008 BCCA 460

The accused was charged with prison breach after an argument with various inmates and staff led to the accused and other inmates swinging a pipe at the window and violently destroying various parts of the prison, including a vent cover and metal door, to gain access to other rooms in the prison. 

Offence Specific Defence(s)

No Intention to Escape

Where the damage done to the prison is accidental or done for a reason other than the facilitation of an escape, the person has not completed the offence of prison breach. For example, if person A is fighting with person B in their cell and happens to kick a hole in the wall in the process, they may not have committed the offence of prison breach as this hole was not made to break anyone out of the cell.

No Force or Violence

Where the damage done is not through force or violence, but through normal wear and tear, for example, then the person has not completed the offence of prison breach.

Not a Prison

Where the damage is not done to any part of a prison, but to a courtroom wall or police car window, for example, the person will not have completed the offence of prison breach.

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