By L.K. Hewlett
St. Kitts Reporter
Citizens of both St. Kitts and Nevis are breathing sighs of relief after two prisoners who had escaped lawful custody on Saturday were apprehended on Monday.
Police have attributed the recapture of twenty-five-year-old Gavin ‘Ajah’ Herbert and thirty-eight-year-old Dinzey Ryan to helpful members of the public.
Ryan was serving a life sentence for manslaughter after he was found guilty of shooting his girlfriend while Herbert was convicted of robbery and was serving an eight-year sentence.
The usual finger pointing began as word of the escape spread through the twin islands, with blame reaching all the way to the head of prisons.
Superintendent Franklin Dorset spoke with The Observer and explained how the escape was possible and why it was no one’s fault.
“People are talking and they do not know how things are set up. The two men did not break out of a prison, nor outsmart any guards to get away. Nevis is one of two Caribbean islands with what is called an ‘open prison’. There are no conventional cells, there are no fences or walls. The Nevis prison is like a plantation with a dormitory, a few offices and minimum security,” he said.
According to Dorset, only prisoners who were deemed not to be flight risks were sent over to Nevis. He said that both Ryan and Herbert had been in Nevis about sixmonths bringing the total population there to about 40 ‘inmates’.
“We only place non-risk prisoners over there, people who don’t give any trouble and who cooperate fully with us while in St. Kitts. Things go wrong sometimes because people are human, that doesn’t mean that any single person is to blame for what happened. I am just glad that they were caught and are now back in police custody,” Dorset said.
The veteran cop thanked the public for their involvement saying that although he had not gotten the full details, he understood that persons had given Nevis police crucial information which led to the fugitives being recaptured.
The men will face additional jail time for the offence of ‘fleeing lawful custody’, which could get them as much as two years imprisonment.