CONVICTED AND FREE: Out of jail after already serving time for a failed escape bid

CONVICTED: Steven Geoffrey Bartel is out of jail after having already served time for a failed escape bid and for breaching an apprehended violence order.

CONVICTED: Steven Geoffrey Bartel is out of jail after having already served time for a failed escape bid and for breaching an apprehended violence order.

An out-of-work East Albury man living with his mum who sent a series of bizarre texts that frightened his ex-partner before he later escaped from police custody has been given jail time.

But with time already spent behind bars since his arrest on February 10, Steven Geoffrey Bartel has been set free under a 12-month bond.

The 27-year-old told magistrate Rodney Brender that “yes, I would like to be sentenced” over the matters.

Bartel pleaded guilty to charges of escape lawful custody and contravening an apprehended violence order

Mr Brender said it was clear that Bartel didn’t have the lung capacity of his two arresting female officers, who easily chased him down when he fled Albury police station.

Bartel had just been let out of a police caged van backed into a loading area at the Albury police station when he made his escape.

He tried to elude police by darting from side-to-side but ended up falling over and landing heavily on the footpath, where he was promptly handcuffed and re-arrested.

“It was a split-second decision,” Barton said of his failed escape bid.

“I wanted to go home and I thought I would be going to jail.”

Mr Brender asked the police prosecutor the sentence for escaping police custody. He was told it was a maximum of two years in jail should the matter be dealt with in the Local Court.

Defence solicitor Tim Hemsley said Bartel was aware of the gravity of what he had done.

"Obviously escape custody is a serious offence, your honour,” he said, though pointed out Bartel “was never going to outrun the Albury police”.

The court was told the victim, 26, took out the two-year order against Bartel – the pair had been in an on-off relationship for nine years – on November 20.

This protected both the woman and their 10-month-old daughter.

The breach occurred on February 8 when Bartel and the woman, who had ended the relationship, began texting each other over his access to the girl.

Bartel had rung using his mother’s mobile phone, but when he asked if she would “like a Xanax” – a drug treatment for anxiety and panic disorders – she re-thought her decision to let him see their daughter.

He ended up sending 52 texts to the victim, who was left in fear by messages such as “people don’t like smart bitches using kids against the dad”.

Bartel was also convicted and fined $500.