Belfast Telegraph

Notorious Maze escaper empties pockets for drink-drive fine

A CONVICTED republican double killer who escaped the Maze prison dressed as a woman had his fine for drink-driving reduced to just £30 after telling a judge that was all the cash he had on him.

Liam Averill who famously broke out of the H Blocks during a Christmas party while wearing woman's clothes, was originally fined £250.

But when the judge found out Averill had an address in the Irish Republic, and that the fine would have to be paid on the spot, he asked the defendant how much he had on him.

Averill, whose address was given as Congress Terrace in Co Longford, replied he had "about £30".

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes then reduced the fine to £15 with a £15 offenders' levy.

Averill then left the dock.

Averill (48) had been arrested in Maghera, Co Londonderry, early on Sunday after police officers stopped the van he was driving.

A police officer told the court that when he stopped a van on Main Street at around 2.10am on February 17 there was a strong smell of alcohol.

The court was told he was unsteady on his feet, had glazed eyes and had slurred speech.

When he was breathalysed in Limavady police station, Averill was found to be 66mgs over the legal limit.

Averill, who was not legally represented, was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Averill –who was serving life sentences for two murders committed in 1994 – Averill benefited from a secret amnesty given to 18 'on the run' IRA prisoners to cement the peace process.

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