UK & World News

  • 21 May 2014, 4:40

Police Hunt Pair On Run From Open Prison

An armed robber has absconded from an open prison in Doncaster along with another inmate.

Police are warning the public not to approach Damien Burns or Dean Jackson, who went missing from Hatfield Prison in South Yorkshire on Monday evening.

Burns, 39, originally from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, was serving an indeterminate sentence for knifepoint robbery handed to him in 2007.

Jackson, 27, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was on remand awaiting sentencing for what police described as "a theft-related matter".

Officers think they may try to return to their home turf as they do not have any known contacts near the category D jail.

The incident came a day after a murderer who stabbed a blind man to death was arrested after going on the run from prison.

Arnold Pickering, 44, who was jailed for life in 1991 for killing a man he wrongly thought to be a paedophile, was tracked down to an address in Oldham.

The 44-year-old had failed to return to HMP Kennet in Merseyside after leaving the Category C jail on day release on Saturday.

Another inmate, swastika-tattooed Thomas Moffett, 51, who is serving an indeterminate sentence for a number of robberies, also failed to return from day release on Saturday but was arrested on Monday night.

The series of escapes comes weeks after notorious armed robber Michael Wheatley - known as the Skullcracker - absconded from Standford Hill open prison on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, while on temporary release.

Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan called for "a full, independent and immediate inquiry" into the recent series of prison escapes, which he said were "now beyond a joke".

Mr Khan said: "Three sets of prisoners absconding in just three weeks shows the true scale of David Cameron's Government's incompetence.

"It's crucial they're recaptured as quickly as possible but the public have lost confidence in this Government being able to do even the most basic things right."

:: Police are appealing for anyone who sees Burns or Jackson to call them on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting incident number 1009 or 1067 of May 19.

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