Former neo-Nazi Robert Wayne Edhouse was convicted of using ‘codes’ to communicate armed imprisonment

Written by Javed Iqbal

A convicted murderer has been sentenced to an additional prison sentence for conspiring with another member of a neo-Nazi group in Perth to break him out of prison, in a plan that included extortion, coded messages and the purchase of firearms.

Robert Wayne Edhouse hatched the plan while serving a life sentence in Casuarina’s maximum security prison for the murder of his lover’s partner in 2016.

His alleged accomplice, another member of the white supremacist group Aryan Nation, had also been involved in the murder case, but was found guilty of complicity in the crime and had completed his prison sentence.

He has pleaded not guilty to the two charges relating to the jail term and is due to stand trial next year.

The district court was told that the outbreak plan started in October 2020, when Edhouse was taken on jail phone calls, where he discussed with the man the need for money for the Aryan nation’s clubhouse.

Further phone calls recorded Edhouse, where he talked about a plan to extort money from a man he claimed owed him money.

In one of the calls, Edhouse was heard telling his alleged accomplice to demand $ 5,000 from the man “in return for a lifetime of happiness”.

Coded letter revealed plot about jail break

Edhouse also revealed in the phone conversations that he had sent a coded letter to his co-defendant.

“If you are my brothers, I need you to buy weapons and knock me out when I go to the hospital for my surgery,” it said when it was decoded.

It was a referral to a knee operation that the court heard Edhouse needed, but which was not yet planned.

Edhouse later said they needed at least $ 15,000 to “get the job done,” while the co-defendants responded by referring to the “Werewolf Battalion” – a group of Nazi loyalists established near the end of World War II.

State Attorney Hannah Flynn said the mention was a veiled reference to “guerrilla war tactics” used to break out of Edhouse.

When the plan was revealed, a search of Edhouse’s cell found banknotes containing the name, address and telephone number of the intended extortion victim, as well as the code he used in the letter to his co-defendant.

Edhouse renounces the Aryan group, the lawyer claims

Edhouse’s attorney, Felicity Cain, said at the time the plan was being drafted that her client was in “a pretty dark place” and “struggling mentally”.

She said he had been told he was unable to perform further studies or any work outside his unit, which she said had “contributed to his mental health going downhill”.

“This was really a plan out of desperation from Edhouse’s perspective,” she said.

A composition by Robert Edhouse and Melony Attwood with a main image of the victim Alan Taylor
The killers Robert Edhouse and Melony Attwood and the victim Alan Taylor (right).(ABC News)

After being charged, Edhouse spent six months in the special treatment unit of Casuarina Prison, where Mrs Cain said he was “essentially in solitary confinement”.

She said since being released from that unit back to the general population, Edhouse had matured and was now working with other prisoners in need of support.

The court was told he was no longer a member of the Ayran Nation group and he had still not had surgery on his injured knee.

Judge Timothy Sharp said Edhouse’s crime was exacerbated by a number of factors, including that it involved the purchase of firearms and a plan to forcibly break out of custody while he was in hospital.

He also said Edhouse was the “driving force” behind the conspiracy.

But he took into account that Edhouse, who appeared in court via video link from the jail, had filed a guilty plea at an early stage, meaning a longer trial was not required.

Judge Sharp sentenced him to three years and nine months in prison – the sentence will be served at the same time as Edhouse’s life sentence.

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Javed Iqbal

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