The next part of the escape plan was the most dangerous for me.
I had to run along the top of the middle wall separating our yards and jump the 12 feet across to the top of the outside wall – which was the main wall.
The outside wall was three feet higher than the yard walls so I had to jump across and up to it with the weight of the rope in one hand – using my free hand to steady myself on landing.
If I jumped short I would fall around 24 feet to the concrete below and risk breaking a leg.
If I jumped long I had the rope still anchored by Dennis to prevent me going head first over the other side – where I would likely trip the alarm wire running along the top outer edge of the main wall.
But I didn’t hesitate.
I had made hundreds of practice jumps in the yard over the previous weeks – having measured the distance I had to jump between the two walls with a length of cotton.
I ran along the top of the middle wall and leapt from the outer edge of the yard wall on to the top of the main wall – landing perfectly.
The alarm wire was held by rubber insulated metal brackets six inches out from the top outer edge of the wall.
I threaded my end of the rope between the wall and the wire then lowered myself to the ground while Dennis again anchored it from within his yard.