Inmate sentenced to 16 years in prison for brazen helicopter escape
Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for a brazen helicopter escape from a Quebec detention centre in 2013 that made headlines around the world.
Hudon-Barbeau, a Hells Angels sympathizer, pleaded guilty in January 2016 to charges of:
- Theft of an aircraft.
- Escape from a prison.
- Breaking and entering into a house.
- Theft and damage of the property of others.
At the time of his escape, Hudon-Barbeau was serving time at the provincial jail in Saint-Jérôme for gun possession.
Hudon-Barbeau made his escape with fellow inmate Danny Provençal after two accomplices hijacked a helicopter and forced its pilot to fly to the jail.
The video shows the men climbing up the rope to get onto the roof, where a helicopter was waiting. They both cling to the rope, which is attached to the helicopter. As the chopper takes off, it carries Hudon-Barbeau and Provençal with it.
A few hours later, police nabbed the two inmates. Since his arrest, Hudon-Barbeau has been detained at a facility in Rivière-des-Prairies, in the building’s high-security section.
18-year sentence dropped to 16 years
In his ruling, Quebec Superior Court Justice Marc David said he took into consideration Hudon-Barbeau’s detention conditions. The 41-year-old, who suffers from mental health issues, has had to stay in his cell 20 hours a day, with no access to activities, no physical contact with other inmates and very limited access to medical care.
“The relative isolation experienced by Hudon-Barbeau for more than four years is a violation of his human dignity,” David wrote in his decision.
David reduced his 18-year sentence to 16 years.
With time already served behind bars, Hudon-Barbeau has nine years left in his sentence.
But his time before the courts is not over. Hudon-Barbeau was recently convicted of two murders and two attempted murders. He is still awaiting sentencing for those crimes.