A PRISONER, who escaped custody while being treated in hospital, has been returned to intensive care and charged.
Matthew Furner, 28, escaped from custody while at Port Macquarie Base Hospital under the supervision of Corrective Services officers. He was being treated for injuries to his neck.
Furner was under guard at the hospital when it is alleged he escaped at around 7.30am on Sunday, August 25. Police said he fled on foot.
A search was launched involving local police, the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, the Dog Unit and PolAir.
Several eyewitnesses reported seeing Furner in Port Macquarie on Sunday evening and reported his movements to police.
Furner was later spotted driving a car north on the Pacific Highway where he struck a roundabout on the Pacific Highway at Frederickton following a short police pursuit.
An extensive search of the Pacific Highway led police to the vicinity of Quarry Road and Seashore Lane, Frederickton, where he was stopped by a police dog in a paddock.
Solicitor David Lakin is representing Furner, who has been refused bail and remains under guard in the intensive care unit at the base hospital.
The matter was mentioned in Port Macquarie Local court before Magistrate Price.
Furner is charged with, escape from lawful custody, assaulting a corrections officer and common assault.
Magistrate Price adjourned the matter to the same court on September 4.
Furner is likely to appear via video link.