When his wife came to visit him at Penedo prison in Brazil , he popped on her bra, threw on a wig and poured his curves into her pretty blue dress.
He even shaved his arms and legs for good measure, and squeezed into a pair of killer heels.
But his plan to sashay through the prison gates went awry after he forgot one thing: it can take a woman years to master how to glide naturally in high heels.
Half an hour into his daring bid for freedom, one eagle-eyed guard noticed that, despite looking like a woman, he didn’t walk like one.
He was followed as far as the bus station before police picked him up and dragged him back to jail.
The jail’s director Carlos Welber said Silva had swapped clothes with his wife during her weekly visit.
She left the prison wearing his bermuda shorts and another top she had brought in her bag.
He told Brazil’s Globo G1 website: ‘He left the prison shortly after her, along with other inmates’ wives. He was wearing a wig, painted false nails and a long dress. He’d spent a long time shaving his legs and arms. There was a lot of preparation and premeditation involved in this.’
Mr Welber said: ‘He noticed that the woman was walking funny and looked strange. He followed him to the bus station, where two men were waiting on motorbikes to pick him up.
‘The policeman approached him and managed to arrest him and bring him back, still dressed as a woman.’
Silva had been awaiting trial for drug trafficking.
He was transferred to the prison last month after another escape attempt, when armed men tried to invade another jail to release him.
According to Mr Welber, Silva’s wife admitted changing clothes with her husband but claimed she had no idea why he wanted them.
He said: ‘He was the one who demanded her clothes, at least that’s what she’s telling us. Of course we don’t believe her, but that’s her story.
‘At the time it was visiting hour and there were more than 150 family members inside the prison. But we’re taking measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.’
Attribution: Matt Blake