Police search for two prisoners escaped from Wellington Court cells

Police search for two prisoners escaped from Wellington Court cells


Police are looking for two dangerous prisoners who escaped from the Wellington District Court cells this afternoon.

They are:

• Christopher Hatley, a 23-year-old Caucasian, 177cm tall, of medium to thin build. He has dark hair and a goatee beard and was last seen wearing black trousers, a black top and was barefoot. There’s a possibility he injured himself in the escape as he was seen limping towards Featherston Street.
• Albert Karl Lenin Stretch, a 24-year-old Maori, 171cm tall of medium to solid build. He has dark hair and was last seen wearing a dark coloured long sleeved top with horizontal stripes on the front, light coloured knee length pants with a blue pattern up the sides, and black Chuck Taylor footwear. He was carrying a black jacket in his hand.

Both men had appeared in the Wellington District Court today – Hatley charged with assault with a weapon and Stretch on burglary and robbery charges. Hatley had been arrested last Wednesday after an AOS callout in Wellington.

Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Perry, Wellington CIB, says the pair broke out of their cell about 2.30pm. They managed to smash their way out of the cell area and into a covered driveway, before breaking through two roller doors and escaping into Ballance Street.

"The escape was noticed by Corrections Officers looking after overflow prisoners in a separate area. They immediately alerted police."

"Both men split up in Balance Street with Stretch heading towards Lambton Quay and Hatley towards Featherston Street. We can’t discount the possibility that they will get together at some prearranged point."

Detective Senior Sergeant Perry says police are checking addresses that Hatley has links with in the Wellington area while Police are checking properties in the Porirua area frequented by Stretch.

"We’re still investigating the full circumstances of their escape," Detective Senior Sergeant Perry says. "They were police prisoners so we want to know more about how the escape happened and review security to avoid a repeat."

He says both men should be considered dangerous. People who see them should call police immediately.