Escaped prisoner hid out near town

A PRISONER who walked out of an open prison was found hiding near Harborough, a court heard.

Anthony Blair (25), reacted with anger and swore at Judge Richard Bray when three years’ imprisonment was added to his sentence.

Northampton Crown Court heard on Friday last week that Blair was jailed for seven-and-a-half years at Teeside Crown Court in December 2008 for wounding with intent and stealing and handling stolen vehicles.

He was serving the sentence at HMP Ford, an open prison in West Sussex, went he walked out on August 3 last year.

Alex Bull, prosecuting, said while Blair was on the run, an £18,000 Ford Ranger was stolen from Lower Lodge Farm, Harborough on August 11.

Yet when police officers went to the Brook Meadow lakeside retreat between Sibbertoft and Lubenham two days before Christmas, they found both it and Blair.

The stolen Ford had two separate sets of false plates attached and he claimed to have bought it for £8,500.

Blair, of Leeholme Road, County Durham, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 12 months for escape with two years consecutive for possessing criminal property, to be served consecutive to his current term. He had been due to be released in May.

Judge Richard Bray said: “You were previously sentenced to 42 months for similar offences and clearly paid no attention to that sentence because you were involved in these offences even while you were on the run.”