VICTORIA – One of the two men who escaped from a Vancouver Island prison and spent two days at large has been served one additional year on his sentence for the escape.

Zachary Armitage, 30, was served a one-year sentence for being unlawfully at large with fellow inmate James Lee Busch, 42, after their escape from William Head Institution in July. 

The maximum sentence for an escape is 24 months. Before sentencing was heard, Crown counsel was calling for the full two years while Armitage's defence lawyer was asking for six to nine months.

During sentencing, the presiding judge noted that while Crown counsel was not pursuing additional charges, Armitage was allegedly in possession of drug paraphernalia when he was located by police. 

Armitage's current sentence of incarceration expires in 2025, with the additional one-year sentence to be served when the current sentence is completed. 

At the time of his escape, the 30-year-old was serving a nearly 14-year sentence for robbery and aggravated assault at the minimum-security William Head Institution.

Following Armitage and Busch's escape from the prison, a provincial judge called for a response from Correctional Services Canada explaining why the two violent offenders were placed in a minimum-security prison to begin with. A report was received by the judge before Monday's sentencing but was not released to the public.