Brenden Abbott : biography

8 May 1962 -

Dubbed "The Postcard Bandit," media reports in the 1990s said Abbott sent postcards of his travels to the Western Australian Police. However, the postcards in the "Postcard Bandit" story were a WA Police Media Unit invention; Australian Story (program transcript), 27 October 2003 The "postcards" were photos Abbott lost while running from police after the Fremantle Prison escape with Aaron Reynolds, and were intended for his friends and family. They included a picture of Reynolds outside the Dwellingup Police Station, in Western Australia. While Reynolds was arrested within weeks, the fugitive, Abbott, went on to establish himself as a "professional" bank robber, using self-taught skills in make-up to create convincing disguises, computers to create false IDs, and electronics to dodge alarms.

His five and a half years on the run came to an end when police tracked down a post office box on the Gold Coast, Queensland used by Abbott, which was found to contain a pager bill registered to the address where he was living. Confronted by police at a Darwin laundromat he surrendered without resistance and this is a typical facet of each of his arrests, historically.

Prison escapes

Brenden James Abbott escaped from jail twice, and he also fled from police in 1986 during questioning at Nollamara Police Station. Unlike crimes Abbott was previously a party to, the escape from Sir David Longland Prison at Wacol in November 1997 utilized actual force rather than an implied threat of force. In that instance Brendon Berichon, a young former SDL inmate, fired warning shots overhead from the outside of the fence. The offenders alleged this occurred in panic, when the three escapees' intended surreptitious escape plan went awry. Sir David Longlands Prison was also known as "the Killing Fields," and was later decommissioned by the Queensland government.

On 24 November 1989, the Fremantle Prison escape occurred that earned Abbott his lifelong notoriety as a criminal genius, and ultimately led to his permanent and erroneous branding as "The Postcard Bandit." In the escape, Abbott and another inmate jumped from the roof over the high limestone prison walls, in uniforms similar to guards,' which Abbott had made in the prison tailorshop.

Fremantle Prison, built in the 1850s originally as an immigration holding centre, had a long history of escapes which feature in the heritage listed site's tours. Fremantle Prison, like Sir David Longland Prison, was also decommissioned by the government due to substandard conditions in the years following Abbott's escape. Both prisons were notorious for their severe and outdated conditions, and inmates' bloody and brutal existence. Nollamara police officers featured in the 2003 Western Australian Kennedy Royal Commission into Police Corruption, when former detainees detailed allegations of physical torture during questioning.(Kennedy Royal Commission Final Report, 2003, Chapter 3 - Operation Least Said, p. 153)

Current sentencing

The Australian mainstream media has widely featured speculation that at the conclusion of Abbott's current Queensland sentence the West Australian police may apply to the Queensland courts to extradite Abbott to complete the remainder of a sentence for an armed robbery, and for trial over one count of escaping custody. Presently, no legal provisions exist for his past and present sentences to be served concurrently across the state boundaries of Queensland and Western Australia, and this is one factor contributing to the public perception that the prison time Abbott has served is disproportionate to sentences commonly handed down by the courts for similar offences.

Western Australian Labor politicians have twice refused Abbott's transfer applications in 2005 and 2008 to return to the state to complete his sentence. In 2004 Queensland authorities approved an interstate transferAAP, , The Age, 7 July 2004 but Western Australian Attorney-General Jim McGinty refused to accept him.O'Donnell, Mick, , The 7.30 Report (transcript), 7 July 2005 In early 2007, Abbott re-applied to be transferred to Western Australia and that was approved by the Queensland Attorney General in 2008.Hansen, Peter (11 March 2007). . Sunday Mail. However, former WA Corrective Services Minister, Margaret Quirk, promptly released a media statement rejecting Abbott's bid to return home. Abbott has applied for transfer back to Western Australia four times in response to the outstanding warrants, though all the applications have been refused by the Western Australian government. In May 2010 Glenn Cordingly of The Sunday Times in Perth, cited an unnamed WA Police source who alleged that Western Australian authorities "had a cell waiting" for Abbott, although there has been no official confirmation of such.Glenn Cordingley (15 May 2010). . The Sunday Times. Retrieved on 30 October 2012. The story sparked public debate for over a year, which is indicative of the public perceptions of Abbott's treatment and sentencing.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine