Shoeless prisoner who fled courthouse remains at large

RCMP are still looking for a man who escaped shoeless from the Whitehorse courthouse out the front door Saturday morning.

RCMP are still looking for a man who escaped shoeless from the Whitehorse courthouse out the front door Saturday morning.

Police say Richard Linklater was appearing in court around 10:45 a.m. on charges including robbery and failing to comply with a probation order when he got away.

They’re not saying much about what happened other than that he “escaped lawful custody” and was “last seen leaving on foot, through the front doors of the courthouse, on to Second Avenue,” according to a news release.

Extra officers and a police search dog were called in, but could not find him.

Police say the 33-year-old may pose a risk to safety, and the public should not approach him, but to call 911 immediately, if they see him.

He is 5’9”, and was last seen wearing a grey hoodie and dark pants.

Canadian law requires that after someone is arrested, they appear before a judge or justice of the peace within 24 hours before they can be ordered to jail.

Weekend court appearances in the Yukon are less busy than the kind you would experience on a weekday.

The building would likely have been mostly empty when Linklater got away. The court services office, law library and Family Law Information Centre are all closed on the weekends.

Court sheriffs don’t handle appearances on the weekend. RCMP officers would have been there when Linklater was in the building.

Linklater has a long criminal record. Most of his recent convictions have been for property-related crimes like theft, and break and enter.

A 2008 Yukon Territorial Court decision said the then-26-year-old had already accumulated 50 charges on his criminal record.

In that decision the judge notes that the bulk of the charges were for property-related crimes until a 2001 robbery and in 2004 when he was convicted of attempted armed robbery, armed robbery and assaulting a peace officer.

Linklater has done penitentiary time on at least two occasions in the past, the judge said. 

Anyone with information on Linklater’s location is being asked to call RCMP at 667-5555.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com