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"Daunting" regime made dangerous prisoner go on the run, court told
A DANGEROUS prisoner went on the run from an open prison because he found the new regime “daunting”, a court has heard.
“Institutionalised” John Burton, 29, was serving an indeterminate sentence for the kidnap of a man in North Dorset six years ago and had been moved to HMP Ford Arrundal Sussex – an open prison.
Anita Gibson-Lee told Bournemouth Crown Court that Burton was discovered missing during a routine roll-call at the prison and was traced four days later to Bournemouth.
She said a police officer spotted the prisoner in Christchurch Road and, with the assistance of members of the public, arrested him.
The court heard Burton was handed an indeterminate sentence in March 2008 and told he would have to serve at least 891 days in custody before he would be considered for parole as long as he was not deemed a risk to society.
He was one of three men who robbed a maintenance man at Shaftesbury Town Football Club before approaching a motorist, assaulting him and bundling him into the back of his car.
The man was so terrified he threw himself out of the car and broke his hip.
She said there was no evidence to suggest any crime was committed during the four-days he was out of custody.
Burton pleaded guilty to one count of escape via video link at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday.
Nicholas Robinson, representing, said Burton describes himself as “institutionalised”.
“He has been by himself for a number of years. He found himself at Ford open prison and found that quite daunting compared to the closed regime he was used to.”
Judge Roger Jarvis sentenced Burton to a further eight months in jail to run consecutively with his current prison term.
He told Burton: “Fortunately you were only at large for four days. Fortunately no other crime was committed by you whilst you were at large.
“Fortunately there is no question of you attempting to make contact with victims of your earlier crimes.”
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