One of two prisoners who escaped in separate incidents in NSW has been recaptured by police.


Goulburn inmate Beau Wiles was arrested about 5.10pm on Thursday in southern Wollongong, more than 30 hours after he fled a work yard outside the prison.

The 25-year-old minimum-security inmate was being driven in a car on Five Islands Road in Unanderra, almost 160km from the Goulburn Correctional Centre, when officers stopped him.

Two women who were in the car have also been arrested.

The convicted shoplifter fled into a waiting black Commodore when he made his break from the Goulburn Correctional Centre’s security perimeter on Wednesday morning.

Just six hours later, another man escaped Corrective Services’ custody.

Ali Hussein Chahine, 33, leapt over the dock at Sydney’s busy Downing Centre District Court, assaulting two sheriffs before fleeing the building and jumping on a bus.

While friends and family members pleaded for Wiles to turn himself in, authorities were investigating how he managed to gain access to a mobile phone and post status updates and pictures to his Facebook page while behind bars.

Those entries include photographs posted on Monday that show Wiles in nothing but a green prison cap and underpants.

NSW Corrective Services Minister David Elliott told reporters on Thursday he had brought forward the introduction of a scanner, already earmarked for Goulburn, that was capable of detecting coin-sized mobile phones hidden in body cavities.

He has also promised to expedite a request to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to allow phone-jamming technology to be brought in at Goulburn.

Meanwhile, Chahine, who remained at large on Thursday evening, is due to be sentenced in December on ice supply, proceeds of crime and driving charges

He committed those offences while out on parole.

He was in court on Wednesday for a detention application after he breached his bail, and made his escape after Judge Andrew Scotting determined he should be taken back into custody.

Mr Elliott said it was standard court protocol that prisoners were not handcuffed when they were in a courtroom, but that this was managed at the discretion of judicial officers.

But the District Court said Judge Scotting had not been informed of any specific risk posed by Chahine.

Police have also told the media it took Corrective Services 30 minutes to notify them of Chahine’s escape, but that the delay was unlikely to have made a difference.

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