Being banged up gave them plenty of time to plan their elaborate escapes!


Get a load of these bonkers bids for freedom…

1. Prison break by helicopter

prison breaks: helicopter


Pascal Payet is a convicted killer and repeat offender when it comes to prison breaks – between 2001 and 2007, he escaped from French prisons using a helicopter – no less than three times!

On one occasion, he arranged for a chopper to land inside the grounds. Another time, he climbed a rope ladder being dangled from the aircraft.

Each prison breakout was a success – but only in the short term, with authorities always catching him in the end. Now Pascal Payet is locked up once again. But for how long?


2. Prison break by can-opener

prison breaks: can opener


In April 2006, career criminal Ralph Phillips found himself back behind bars in a New York jail for violating the terms of a parole violation.

Having spent the vast majority of the past 20 years banged up, he’d had enough. So, after reporting for early morning kitchen duty, he managed to escape, using a can-opener to cut through the corrugated metal roof. His prison break won him five months of freedom before he was recaptured.


3. Prison break mimics the movies

prison breaks: Shawshank Redemption

PA Photos

Prisoners Jose Espinosa and Otis Blunt were in adjacent cells of a New Jersey jail, both being held for violent felonies. Together, they scraped away mortar around the cinder block of the outer wall in Espinosa’s cell. In a move reminiscent of the film The Shawshank Redemption, they hid their work behind posters of scantily-clad women.

In December 2007, when the hole was no bigger than 18in wide, both prisoners were able to squeeze out and make their bid for freedom. They left behind dummies made of sheets and pillows in their beds, and a note reading ‘happy holidays’ with a smiley face drawn next to it.

Both men were eventually caught, with Otis Blunt found over 2,000 miles away, in Mexico City, and the less ambitious Jose Espinosa in an apartment just six blocks from the jail.


 4. Prison break by yoga

prison breaks: yoga


After being arrested on suspicion of robbery, yogamaster Choi Gap-bok didn’t stick around for long in his cell at a Korean detention centre. In September 2012, just five days after being banged up, he used his bendy skills to manoeuver himself out of the 6x18in food slot used to deliver meals through the bars of his detention cell. Talk about a prison stretch!

Gap-bok was on the run for six days before being recaptured, and detained once more. This time in a cell with a much smaller food slot.


5. Prison break by key craft

prison breaks: bunch of keys


When Alfie Hinds was jailed for his role in a jewellery heist, he vowed he was wrongly imprisoned and decided to do something about it. During his time behind bars, he made a name for himself when it came to prison breaks, but his first was the most ingenious.

The master craftsman spied the guard’s key and was able to replicate it in a prison workshop completely from memory. It was such a perfect copy, he was able to unlock the door and walk straight out!