Townsville Stuart Prison
Townsville Stuart Prison "Farm" Entrance - Pic-Cameron/Laird prisons qld

Prisoner with ‘never surrender’ tattoo escapes

A PRISONER has escaped from the low-security Townsville prison farm.

Police and correctional officers are currently searching for Matthew Thomas Campbell who is serving 1 year and six months for illegal use of a motor vehicle.

The 29-year-old was identified as missing from the Townsville Correctional Centre facility at Stuart about 2.30pm yesterday during a headcount.

The man has a string of tattoos including "one life one chance" on his neck and "never retreat never surrender" on his right forearm.

A Queensland Correctional Services spokesman said there would be a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Matthew Thomas Campbell escaped from the Townsville Prison Farm.
Matthew Thomas Campbell escaped from the Townsville Prison Farm.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

Prison sources said Campbell was working on the low-custody farm and walked off the facility, which is bordered by the Bruce Highway.

"They're not monitored 24/7 because they are trustees and work on the farm,'' a source said.

"He's done a runner, for whatever reason, usually they break out to see a girlfriend, have a beer or score some drugs.

"Sometimes it can be up to three hours between headcounts, and that's when they do a bolt.''

The latest runaway comes after another prisoner Geoffrey John Campbell - who has since been recaptured - escaped from the same correctional facility in October last year.

He was serving nine months for selling, possessing and using prohibited weapons and explosives.

Police investigations are ongoing in the whereabouts of the latest escapee after he failed to turn up to a headcount and a search was immediately launched overnight.

Anyone who sights Campbell is asked to immediately call triple-0 and not approach.