Former prison worker pleads guilty to helping inmate escape from Bowden Institution

A former prison worker has pleaded guilty in a court in Red Deer, Alta., to permitting or assisting escape, after giving tens of thousands of dollars and a phone to an inmate serving a 10-year sentence for fraud.

Peter Edgar was charged following the 2015 escape of Sylvain Martin from Bowden Institution north of Calgary

Peter Edgar pleaded guilty to helping Sylvain Martin escape from the Bowden Institution north of Calgary. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

A former prison worker has admitted he helped an inmate escape from a federal prison in central Alberta.

Peter Edgar pleaded guilty in Red Deer provincial court to permitting or assisting escape.

He was charged following the 2015 escape of Sylvain Martin from Bowden Institution.

Court heard that Martin was serving a 10-year sentence for fraud when he fled from the prison's minimum-security wing.

Martin made his way to Calgary and then on to Quebec, where he was taken into custody.

Phone and $5,000

Following his arrest, Martin told police that while he was an inmate he developed a relationship with Edgar, who is 61.

At the time, Edgar was working as a production supervisor with a Correctional Service of Canada program that provides incarcerated offenders with job-skills training.

Court heard that Edgar provided Martin with a phone and $5,000 prior to his escape.

While admitting to giving Martin the items, Edgar was adamant that he did not know Martin was planning to flee.

Martin used the cash to get to Calgary using a taxi. Edgar later gave Martin $7,000 to get to Quebec.

Partying in Quebec

During their relationship, Edgar provided Martin with $100,000, court heard.

Edgar was in the Caribbean at the time of the prison break and failed to notify authorities after learning about it through a phone call.

He later flew to Quebec, where he partied with Martin.

Edgar took leave from his job in 2015 and never returned to work.

Defence lawyer Robin Snider said a pre-sentence report is expected to take eight to 12 weeks to complete, after which a sentencing date is to be set.