A man who had been on the run from police for three weeks will appear in court on Friday after being apprehended by police in Mudgee on Thursday.
Benjamin Biffin, 37, had escaped the clutches of police when he fled from Dubbo Hospital on January 18. But after evading capture in the ensuing 21 days, his luck ran out when he was located at a Burrundulla Avenue house on Thursday morning.
Information from the public led Orana Mid-Western Police District officers to surround the residence shortly before 10am. When Biffin attempted to flee the location he was tackled to the ground and apprehended, before being led away in a police wagon.
The 37-year-old had been on the run from police since January 18, when he was alleged to have escaped police guard at Dubbo Hospital after being arrested in relation to outstanding warrants the previous evening.
It was only a matter of time before his luck ran out.Supt. Peter McKenna
Police will allege he stole a vehicle from Charles Sturt University before engaging in a pursuit that ended when he ditched the vehicle on Market Street near the Court House Hotel.
"The pressure has been on this offender since his escape,” Orana Mid-Western Police District commander Superitendent Peter McKenna said.
“Police have been constantly attending known locations of associates and relatives and it was only a matter of time before his luck ran out.
"I want to thank the community for their support.“
Mudgee Police chief inspector Jeff Boon described the three week search for Biffin as “frustrating”, but said they “weren’t giving up”.
“We’re really pleased with the result.”
A 33-year-old Mudgee woman was also arrested on Thursday at the Burrundulla address. She was charged with hindering the apprehension of a person who has committed a serious offence, and concealing a serious indictable offence.
She was granted conditional bail and will appear in Mudgee Local Court on February 21.
NSW POLICE REPORT
A man wanted by police in relation to an alleged domestic violence incident, a series of pursuits, and escaping police custody has been arrested in Mudgee.
The first incident occurred on December 19 last year, in which a pregnant woman was allegedly assaulted in a domestic incident at Mudgee.
Those inquiries expanded to include the alleged theft of a car in the Hunter and a break and enter in the Mudgee area on Wednesday, January 17.
That afternoon, police responded to reports of two stolen vehicles located parked on the side of Lue Road outside of Mudgee, with two men allegedly driving from police in a utility.
A police pursuit began on Lue Road but was terminated due to safety reasons, with that car later found abandoned.
Another pursuit was initiated through Mudgee after the men were located travelling in a silver Mitsubishi Pajero, with that car later crashing at Saint Fillans.
Two men were arrested and taken to Dubbo Hospital with minor injuries and were charged in a bedside hearing. The following day, one of the men, 37, escaped the hospital.
A pursuit was initiated after the man allegedly stole a car from a nearby car park. He later fled the car on foot at Mudgee and could not be located.
Police from Orana Mid-Western Police District have been conducting extensive inquiries since, and arrested a 37-year-old man as he ran from a house at Burrundulla Avenue, Mudgee, yesterday morning (Thursday, February 8).
He was taken to Mudgee Police Station where he was charged with 16 offences including police pursuit (Skye’s Law), take and drive conveyance, drive at speed/manner dangerous, drive whilst disqualified, escape lawful custody, break enter and steal, goods in custody, fraud and drug possession.
He was also charged in relation to the alleged domestic violence incident and a number of arrest warrants.
The man was refused bail to appear at Mudgee Local Court on Friday.
BIFFIN IN COURT
In a previous matter, Biffin was listed to appear in Mudgee Local Court on Wednesday on charges of drug driving while disqualified from November.
He was convicted in his absence, fined a total of $1760 and disqualified for a further 12 months for charges of ‘Drive vehicle illicit drug present in blood etc’ and ‘Drive motor vehicle during disqualification period’.
Both of which were his second or more charge within the last five years.
Biffin was stopped by police for random breath and drug tests on Putta Bucca Road, at about 1.40am on November 11, 2017. When asked to hand over his licence he said it was cancelled, a check confirmed that he was disqualified.
He tested positive to methamphetamine and admitted to officers he was a regular drug user and last swallowed something the previous morning.
Magistrate David Day said, “he’s got the quinella, drugs and disqualification” and in reference to his criminal history “he’s got a lot of form since the turn of the century”.
Prosecutor Kris O’Brien said, “Mr Biffin is already subject to two warrants”. One of which was imposed on December 20, 2017, when he failed to appear in court on separate charges.