Prison escapee caught at Oak Flats

A man alleged to have been on the run since Friday was recaptured at Oak Flats train station on Saturday night.

Police say Mark Whaley left Parklea Correctional Centre at 4am on Friday to attend work release duties at Kirrawee but allegedly failed to return, sparking a police manhunt. 

Whaley was identified by a member of the public on a southbound train from Central Station on Saturday evening, and was apprehended by Lake Illawarra police at Oak Flats station at 6.45pm that night. 

Lake Illawarra police station stands just metres away from the platform at Oak Flats station.

Sgt Leigh Paterson from Lake Illawarra police said Whaley had been charged with inmate not return to custody at the end of release time and two counts of possess prescribed restricted substance, after being found with a methadone substitute, a number of unidentified pills, and Viagra.

Whaley was refused bail on the new charges and appeared in Wollongong Local Court on Sunday. He was remanded to appear before Wollongong Local Court via videolink on April 8.