News

Murder suspect also headed to trial for attempted jail break

One of the men allegedly behind an attempted prison break from Wilkinson Road jail one year ago is scheduled to go to trial for the incident in March 2013.

In mid-July 2011, Saanich police said two prisoners were involved in digging a large hole in the ceiling of a cell at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre, a maximum security prison and remand centre on Wilkinson Road.

The hole was apparently big enough for somebody to fit through, but it remains unclear if either man ever illicitly exited the cell.

"The circumstances are dramatic and very movie-like," Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen told the News at the time, which was the first to report on the incident. Saanich police investigated the attempted jail break and Jantzen stressed that the incident posed no risk to public safety.

Andrew Jonathon Belcourt, 22, is charged with breaking out of prison cell with intent to escape on July 12, 2011. He appeared in B.C. Supreme Court this week in Victoria, and a trial date was fixed for March 11, 2013. The same charge was dropped against co-accused Max Higley.

The only publicly known escape from Wilkinson Road jail was in 1986 by Robert Moyes, a violent career criminal later convicted of murdering seven people.

Belcourt remains in custody and is also headed to B.C. Supreme Court on Sept. 17 for a pretrial hearing for the murder of Leslie Ronald Hankel in Fernwood on March 3, 2010. Samuel Gregory McGrath is also charged with murder for that crime.

--with files from Kyle Slavin

editor@saanichnews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Silent visitor
 
Sooke population drop raises questions
 
Buddy Guy to headline MusicFest
U.S. Navy jet fighter rumbles bring on grumbles
 
This and That, January 28
 
Temporary urgent water conservation measures required
Signs going up at new Save-On-Foods in Parksville
 
Alternative energy program slated for Lasqueti Island
 
Nanaimo high-school students see life from a wheelchair

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 28 edition online now. Browse the archives.