Background from an Otago Daily Times article
A teenager serving a nine and-a-half year prison term for a gang rape committed when he was 15, was on the run last night after escaping from Rolleston Prison, near Christchurch. Zane Sutton's escape comes less than 24 hours after four other dangerous criminals, including two convicted murderers, escaped from Auckland Prison at Paremoremo. Sutton was one of four teenagers - including his then 16-year-old brother, Joel - jailed for 11 years each for the 1996 Greymouth gang rape of a 14-year-old girl.
The other offenders, Brent Hume and Robert McDonald, were aged 16 and 19 respectively at the time of the offence. All were Epitaph Riders motorcycle gang associates. At the time of their convictions for rape, the sentencing judge said Joel Sutton had been convicted of violent crimes and Zane Sutton had an even longer list than his brother, but violence was not included. The Court of Appeal last year reduced all four teenagers' sentences to nine and-a-half years. Senior Sergeant Phil Parsons, of Christchurch police, said last night that Zane Sutton, now 17, escaped from the Rimu Wing of Rolleston Prison about 6.15pm by cutting a hole in a wire fence. Mr Parsons said he was considered dangerous and should not be approached. Anyone who saw him should contact police immediately.
Joel Sutton, now 18, had his prison term increased by six years last year after he and another inmate escaped from Christchurch's Paparua Prison on December 2, 1996. During the escape, Joel Sutton held a pair of scissors to prison officer Greg Wislang's head. He threatened to stab the officer in the head unless he and the other prisoner were released from jail. Last July, Joel Sutton admitted charges of aggravated wounding, kidnapping, threatening to cause grievous bodily harm, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery, arising out of events during and after his escape. The two aggravated robbery charges involved the taking of a car and the knifepoint robbery of a bank, where almost $14,000 was taken.
Date of Birth
Gang rape of a 14 year old girl in Greymouth in February 1996
The attempted sexual violation of a 16 year old girl
Numerous burglaries, theft and disqualified driving offences since
Sentenced to 11 years in October 1996, reduced to 9 years 6 months on appeal
A cumulative term of 6 months was imposed in July 1998
Sentenced to 3 years 7 months in March 2012
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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