EXCLUSIVE – Manhunt underway for escaped prisoner in Muswellbrook

June 24, 2024 4:39 pm in by
Image: Darren Cutrupi

UPDATE – The escapee has been found upstairs in a bathroom at the Royal Hotel after police swamped the area and is now back in custody.

Above – The back of the Royal Hotel in Muswellbrook where the escapee was found. Image: Darren Cutrupi

Original story
A manhunt is underway on Muswellbrook after a prisoner escaped from court this afternoon.

Article continues after this ad

46-year-old Matthew Campbell from Scone had just been refused bail by Magistrate Kevin Hockey after his arrest this morning.

Muswellbrook Local Court was told this afternoon Mr Campbell was arrested and charged in connection to a string of break-ins to businesses along Kelly Street in Scone over the past several weeks.

The Police Prosecutor opposed his bail application.

She cited in court the accused lengthy criminal record with similar offences in Scone dating back to the 90’s and had served time in prison and had a recent intensive corrections order.

Mr Campbell’s lawyer told the court the case was circumstantial and he was prepared to offer up a bond.
Magistrate Hockey told the court he faced up to 14 years in jail if convicted.

He said there was an unacceptable risk and refused his application to be released.

As he was being led out of the court Mr Campbell made a run for it the sheriff’s officer and police prosecutor gave chase. This was witnessed by the Hunter Valley Newsroom journalist who was in the court at the time.

He is described as medium to tall height, small build with grey hair. He was last seen in the car park area behind the Royal Hotel in Muswellbrook in a predominantly bright blue long-sleeved fishing-style shirt and black pants.

If you see this man or know of his whereabouts police urge you to call Crimestoppers immediately on 1800 333 000 or contact Muswellbrook Police Station.

You can hear updates and more details on what went down on our Local News First between 6am and 9am tomorrow morning.