AFTER 15 years behind bars, why would convicted murderer Tony Dwaine Morgan risk his promising shot at parole by escaping?
The answer came out in court yesterday, as the 34-year-old was sentenced for his unsophisticated dash for freedom from the Capricornia Correctional Centre farm on April 13.
According to defence barrister Tom Polley, it was fear that drove him to hatch an escape plan with fellow inmate Bradley Thomas Kuhl.
Mr Polley told the Rockhampton District Court Morgan was allegedly assaulted in jail earlier this year and consequently placed in protective custody.
He was later moved to the low-security farm while authorities reconsidered his parole application.
The court heard some of his alleged attackers were also at the farm.
"He was receiving threats," Mr Polley said.
"Life was fairly uncomfortable for him and he was concerned about his safety," he said.
Morgan and Kuhl spent three days evading police before they were recaptured near Cawarral on April 16.
The pair pleaded guilty to the escape, as well as charges of entering premises with intent, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and stealing more than $100 worth of fuel.
Kuhl, 24, also pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle, failing to stop and driving without a licence.
He is serving six years for holding up Oaks Service Station with an assault rifle.
Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand told the court Kuhl was using speed and ice "most weekends" in the lead-up to his incarceration.
Mr Ahlstrand said Kuhl was released on parole twice last year, but both times he was returned to prison for failing a urine test.
He told the court Kuhl's most recent application for parole had been refused just before he escaped.
"He was not aware he could re-apply for it," he said.
Kuhl was sentenced to two-and-a-half years jail, to be added to his sentence.
He was also disqualified from driving for five years and three months.
He will be eligible for parole on September 13 next year.
Morgan is serving a life sentence for stabbing and killing a 16-year-old boy when he was 17.
He was yesterday sentenced to 21 months, to be served concurrently with his life term.
He will be eligible for parole on June 13 next year.