Escaped Metchosin inmate sentenced to 1 additional year

Escaped Metchosin inmate sentenced to 1 additional year
Photo courtesy Facebook/Correctional Service of Canada
James Busch (left) and Zachary Armitage, escaped from the William Head Institution in Metchosin in July. They were later recaptured.

One of the inmates who escaped from the William Head Institution in July was sentenced to another year in prison on Monday.

Zachary Armitage, 30,  is serving a 14-year sentence, handed down in May 2011, for robbery and aggravated assault. Armitage, who is now at the medium-security Mountain Institution prison in Agassiz, had been set for statutory release in 2020.

The additional one year will be served consecutively.

The defence had requested a six-month sentence, while the Crown had asked for 16 to 24 (the maximum) months to be served consecutively.

A massive search was launched July 8 for Armitage and another inmate, James Lee Busch, after police say they failed to show up for the headcount at William Head the night before. Armitage’s lawyer told the court the tide was extremely low at the time and Armitage just walked off the property. Armitage has five other escapes on his record.

On the evening of July 9, an off-duty police officer noticed the pair when they approached him to chat about his dog while walking on the Songhees Walkway. Victoria police were called in and the two were taken into custody.

During the same week the prisoners were on the run, Martin Payne, 60, was found murdered in his Metchosin home. Police have never announced a connection.

Busch is scheduled to appear in court via video on Thursday.

With files from Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist


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