NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has criticised the State Parole Authority for again releasing an armed robber who is on the run from the police for the second time.
Jason Robert Herbert, 40, was released from prison less than a fortnight ago on the condition that he live at Tomago and wear an electronic monitoring device on his leg. But it is understood he has cut off the device.
He has not been seen since 2am on Saturday when he was spotted near the Pacific Highway at Hexham.
Herbert was living at Tomago because he has relatives in the Hunter and mid-north coast.
Police fear he is headed to Western Australia, after he made threats against two officers involved in the 2009 chase of his brother, Troy Herbert, in Perth.
Troy Herbert was killed when he crashed his motorbike after police aborted a chase. The two officers involved in that chase have now been offered protection.
Jason Herbert has previously breached his parole. He was released by the State Parole Authority in April but fled NSW. It is understood he made it as far as Adelaide before he was captured and returned to jail in July.
He spent four more months in prison before the authority again granted him parole on November 29 – this time on the strict condition he wear the monitoring device.
An attempt to remove the device should send an alert to the NSW Department of Corrective Services. However, Fairfax Media understands there was a delay between Corrective Services receiving that alert and appropriate action being taken in locating Herbert.
The process is now under an internal review by the Department of Corrective Services.
Mr O’Farrell said Herbert should not have been released on parole a second time, even with the device.
‘‘What I’m unhappy about today ... is why the hell this bloke was given parole,’’ Mr O’Farrell said yesterday.
‘‘What I want to look at first is why he was allowed to have access to this technology by a parole board whose parole he had broken earlier this year.
‘‘He is described today as a dangerous prisoner by the very same people who gave him parole. That’s what I’m angry about.’’
Herbert’s mother made a plea yesterday for the fugitive to hand himself in.
‘‘Jason, please, I beg you my love. Please contact me and let me know you are fine,’’ she said.
‘‘Please, my love. We can work something out.’’
Herbert is of Caucasian appearance and 185-190 centimetres tall. He has a medium build, hazel eyes and short brown hair.
He is considered dangerous and should not be approached.
Police urge anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact triple-0 immediately.